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ess freedom
His Excellency Prime Minister Abdi Farah
Shirdon emphasised today the government’s
“unshakeable” commitment to press freedom
and advised against a rush to judgement before
the Media Law was sent to parliament.
“There has been a good deal of overexcited
reporting about the Media Law in recent days,
much of it ill-informed,” the Prime Minister said.
“The suggestion that it was going to require
journalists to be aged 40 or over, for example,
owes more to fantasy fiction than accurate
reporting. We need calm discussion and
sensible consultations and this is how we are
proceeding with a series of consultations with
all interested stakeholders.”
The Prime Minister stressed that the Council of
Ministers had only approved the Media Law
subject to amendments being made by the
Minister of Information Abdullahi Elmoge Hersi.
Once those were incorporated the draft
legislation would then be sent to parliament for
further debate and consultation, giving
additional scope for amendments.
The Prime Minister, together with the Minister
of Information and his Deputy Minister
Abdishakur Ali Mire, hosted an iftar dinner for
Somali journalists on 18 July specifically so they
could raise their issues and concerns regarding
the draft Media Law.
Mohammed Ibrahim, Secretary-General of the
National Union of Somali Journalists, thanked
the Prime Minister for the opportunity to
discuss these issues. He and a number of
Somali journalists raised a number of issues,
including protection of sources, the
independence of the National Media Council,
the Council’s powers, access to information and
lifting the suspension of journalists if convicted.
“I am on record numerous times on the subject
of defending press freedom and journalist’s
rights and my government’s commitment to this
is unshakeable,” the Prime Minister said. “I
would like to assure Somali journalists and the
international community alike that there is
plenty of time for further consultations on and
amendments to the Media Law. We are fully
aware of concerns in this area and are
determined to proceed on the basis of
international best practice so that press
freedom in Somalia is properly enshrined in
law.”
ENDS
Ahmed Adan
Prime Minister’s Media Office
Mogadishu, Somalia

ess freedomHis Excellency Prime Minister Abdi FarahShirdon emphasised today the government’s“unshakeable” commitment to press freedomand advised against a rush to judgement beforethe Media Law was sent to parliament.“There has been a good deal of overexcitedreporting about the Media Law in recent days,much of it ill-informed,” the Prime Minister said.“The suggestion that it was going to requirejournalists to be aged 40 or over, for example,owes more to fantasy fiction than accuratereporting. We need calm discussion andsensible consultations and this is how we areproceeding with a series of consultations withall interested stakeholders.”The Prime Minister stressed that the Council ofMinisters had only approved the Media Lawsubject to amendments being made by theMinister of Information Abdullahi Elmoge Hersi.Once those were incorporated the draftlegislation would then be sent to parliament forfurther debate and consultation, givingadditional scope for amendments.The Prime Minister, together with the Ministerof Information and his Deputy MinisterAbdishakur Ali Mire, hosted an iftar dinner forSomali journalists on 18 July specifically so theycould raise their issues and concerns regardingthe draft Media Law.Mohammed Ibrahim, Secretary-General of theNational Union of Somali Journalists, thankedthe Prime Minister for the opportunity todiscuss these issues. He and a number ofSomali journalists raised a number of issues,including protection of sources, theindependence of the National Media Council,the Council’s powers, access to information andlifting the suspension of journalists if convicted.“I am on record numerous times on the subjectof defending press freedom and journalist’srights and my government’s commitment to thisis unshakeable,” the Prime Minister said. “Iwould like to assure Somali journalists and theinternational community alike that there isplenty of time for further consultations on andamendments to the Media Law. We are fullyaware of concerns in this area and aredetermined to proceed on the basis ofinternational best practice so that pressfreedom in Somalia is properly enshrined inlaw.”ENDSAhmed AdanPrime Minister’s Media OfficeMogadishu, Somalia

Aside

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