Training South West Regional State Journalists in Somalia on Freedom of Expression and Human Rights Reporting
Press Release From Saturday 21-Sunday 22 October, 2017 in Baidoa,Somalia
The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) with the support of United Nations Assistance Mission For Somalia UNSOM particularly the UN Human Rights Protection Section organised two days training for 25 journalists in South West Regional State on freedom of expression and human rights reporting.
The objective of the two days training is to promote and protect fundamental rights through enhancing the role of journalists in promoting freedom of expression,good governance and public’s right to access information
This initiative is part of the project “Supporting Somalia’s Human Rights Cluster” of UNSOM to improve the capacities of member organisations in the Human Rights Cluster including NUSOJ to advocate and report freedom of expression issues and human rights violations in the country.
In opening remarks ,the Secretary General of National Union of Somali Journalists Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu said “Freedom of expression is an enabling right for other human rights. Freedom of expression through good quality journalism enables the abuse of other human rights to be exposed and those responsible to be held accountable. Strengthening the position of journalists and their ability to perform their role in serving the public with informed independent critical journalism is the bedrock of democracy,so this kind of training is indeed useful for our journalists”
South West Parliament Speaker Honorable Abdulkadir Sharif Shiikhunaa who officially opened the journalist training in Baidoa sent condolences to the families of victims of Mogadishu Truck Bombing on 14 ,October ,2017 including relatives of two journalists who were among the dead and hoped speedy recovery for the wounded people.
“Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right enshrined in our constitution ,therefore we are committed guaranteeing it . Although freedom of speech is very valuable for a democratic society, it is important to give society certain limits. A person cannot expect to use foul language in public without a reaction. People must not use freedom of speech to attack a person without evidence. Freedom of speech must not be used to cause a fight or rebellion” Speaker Abdulkadir said.
Minster of Information of South West Regional Administration Hassan Abdi Mohamed thanked the National Union of Somali Journalists for the training of Baidoa journalists and pointed out that journalists work in very difficult situations all though they did not receive the proper trainings they needed. The Minister added that no journalist was arrested in their respective administration due to what he called their understanding freedom of expression and freedom of media.
During the closing ceremony, some participants said this was the most effective journalism training that they had ever attended.
“I have attended several journalist workshops, and this was really the most relevant workshop. There were great networking opportunities and I have learned a lot from our own facilitators. We are looking forward to use them and produce better stories for human rights reporting and freedom of expression” A participant Hinda Ali Osman said.
NUSOJ President Mahir Jama Aden thanked local journalists in Baidoa for their warm welcome to the facilitators of the training and also the UN Human Rights Protection Section of UNSOM which without their support NUSOJ wouldn’t be implemented the training.
A veteran journalist Farah Omar Nur was among the facilitators if the training thanked to participants for punctuality during the two days training.
National Union of Somali Journalists, NUSOJ.