Friday, August 19, 2011

Covert discrimination against Somali Media must be stopped.

By Mohamed Odowa
Somalia media today protest against the wide discrimination by the government security force as well as the Ministry of information during the welcoming ceremony of the Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday.
More than 50 mainly working for the local Media houses include televisions, radio and websites have been denied to cover the news over the arrival of the Prime Minister as the journalists had been given Identity cards by the Somalia’s information ministry.
 Many journalists included the director of the Universal TV Ibrahim Mohamed Hussein and more others have been intimidated by forces loyal to government as the journalists were trying in accessing their coverage duties.
The government leaders such the President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and his Prime Minister Abdi-wali Mohamed Ali were seemingly watching over the harassments against the media workers.   Radios and TV equipments included Video cameras were taken from some journalists by the government security force. Somali Journalists Associations Network condemns with its strongest words for this awful discriminations and calls to the government leaders to make investigation over the allegations.
Several journalists told SOJANET that some government troops guarding the area warned journalists to kill
Journalists from western countries who were already inside at the Halane Camp and the areas of the International Aden Adde airport were also unable to participate at the ceremony as most of them were reportedly harassed and banned by the government forces.
Only a few journalists who work at the government run radio Mogadishu and small number of outside media workers were able to cover the news about the arrival of the Prime Minister and his delegates.
“This is shameful for all government sectors. The freedom of the press in this country is very important for whole nation and the outside. "We would demonstrate with our colleagues until apologies the bad actions happened today,” said SOJANET   
 The Prime Minister’s visit to Mogadishu was an attempt to draw the world’s attention to the war torn Somalia followed by the worst drought and famine. Turkey is amongst dozens of Islamic countries pledging a $350 million dollars to famine relief under Organization of Islamic.
SOJANET questioned on why the information ministry allowed journalists to cover such news if it’s not prepared with its commitments for ensuring the safety of the journalists and their media equipments!  

SOJANET members. Kampala, Uganda.