Human Rights Journalists HRJ is saddened by the misdemeanors of state information ministers who irrationally walked out of a highly organized dialogue forum on improving safety of Somali journalists convened by Ministry of Information of the FGS with technical and financial support from UNESCO.
The two day event which attended by representatives from Ministry of Information of FGS, information ministers of federal member states, private media, civil society organizations, Somali Media Support Group (SMSG), UNSOM and other interested groups is intended to brainstorm and devise the most viable safety mechanism for Somali journalists.
HRJ is shocked by the decision made by information ministers from Jubbaland, Galmudug, Hirshabelle and Southwest who walked out of the conference room shortly before the official opening of the conference, much to the bewilderment of other stakeholders of the meeting.
The state ministers subsequently held press conference denouncing the meeting and accusing the Information Ministry of FGS of degrading state ministers for not giving them the due respect and excluding them from the dignitaries invited to address at the opening ceremony of the conference.
HRJ deems all allegations made by state ministers as unsubstantiated assertions and regards the state ministers’ misbehavior of today as an attempt to sabotage the conference and to prevent the Somali journalists from having an effective safety setup that will end more than a decade of killing Somali journalists with impunity.
HRJ appeals to the information ministers of federal member states to change their attitude and join other stakeholders to contribute to the international efforts of ending impunity of crimes against journalists and the establishment of unique safety mechanism for Somali journalists.
HRJ finally wants to express gratitude to UNESCO, other SMSG members, UNSOM and all those who give support to Somali journalists and encourages them to continue their support for Somali journalists.