SJS hails Speaker of Parliament’s assurance to give access to journalists covering presidential election

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Mogadishu (Onkod Radio) –MOGADISHU, Somalia 13 May, 2022 – Yesterday, Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) joined journalists and media directors meeting with the Speaker of the Somali Parliament’s Lower House, Sheikh Adan Mohamed Nur (Madobe) in Mogadishu raising concern about the recent restrictions against journalists covering presidential election.

During the meeting SJS Secretary-General, Abdalle Ahmed Mumin and members of the independent media directors voiced their concern on the ongoing blockage imposed on the independent journalists reporting on the presidential election at the Parliament. Journalists also pointed that a local commercial company alluding with parliament officials has been attempting to use the restrictions on journalists as an advantage to obtain exclusive possession of footage and photos from the election venue which violates the fundamental human rights of accessing public information.

Speaker Sheikh Adan Madobe made assurances that he will immediately lift the restrictions imposed on journalists and that independent media will be provided access to the Parliament on Sunday 15 May when lawmakers will be voting for the election of the president.

SJS Secretary-General, Abdalle Ahmed Mumin (left) and Speaker of Somali Parliament’s Lower House pose for a photo after a meeting in Mogadishu on Friday, 13 May 2022. | PHOTO/Official.
SJS Secretary-General, Abdalle Ahmed Mumin (left) and Speaker of Somali Parliament’s Lower House pose for a photo after a meeting in Mogadishu on Friday, 13 May 2022. | PHOTO/Official.

“During our meeting today with Speaker Sheikh Adan Madobe, we raised concern regarding the restrictions against journalists covering Somali presidential election. He listened to our concerns and promised to immediately provide access to all journalists. We look forward to the implementation of the Speaker’s promise,” Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, the Secretary-General of Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) said “We call Speaker Sheikh Adan Madobe to also restore all media access to the Parliament in order for journalists to cover parliament proceedings without harassment and threats.”

Somali lawmakers from the two houses of the Federal Parliament will be voting on Sunday 15 May to elect a new president. Journalist covering this election have has a huge professional responsibility to ensure that they act professionally and in accordance with international standards. There is so much at stake in this year’s election in Somalia that some politicians with vested interests will not shy away from bribery and telling lies. But our journalists must be cautious and act independently and professionally.

“I want to urge journalists that they must know when covering an election it is of immense importance to be clear about your role and responsibilities as a journalist. Our role is to help the citizens understand the key issues of the election and inform the public including the lawmakers to make the best possible decisions on whom to vote for and to inform them about the political actors, their visions and their promises including the respect for democratic space and human rights,” SJS Secretary-General, Mr. Mumin added.

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