Somaliland: Parliament and Journalist’s Body Set to Institutionalize Media Law

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Participants at the SOLJA Parliament Workshop on media laws

By: Guleid A Maher

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The members of parliament and a cross-section of the country’s journalist led by the Somaliland journalist association (SOLJA) have agreed on the imperative need for implementation of media law #27/2004 by the government.

The agreement came during a come together meeting by the journalist association and members of the house of the assembly, at Mansoor hotel in Hargeisa where a consensus was also reached by the two sides for the appointment of a joint committee that will see through the implementation of the act.

The meeting organized by SOLJA and sponsored by National Endowment for Democracy (NED) organization. The meeting was attended by seven parliamentarians who represented the house select committee for social services led by its chairman Hon Hassan Awale Aynaan and 23 journalists from different media houses.

During the meeting many issues that have handicapped journalists in the country were discussed. They also talked about the wanton arrest of journalists in their cause of duties on films grounds that have reached an alarming rate. They made recommendations on the last SOLJA meeting with the government in 2012 about the implementation of act 27-2004 and other thorny issues concerning the press.

They also agreed on the points below;

MP Baar Saeed at the SOLJA meeting in Hargeisa Somaliland

1. Strengthening of working relationship between the house of assembly and independent press.

2. Create a joint committee to look into abuse of freedom of expression and implementation of the press act.

3. Establishment of an office to bridge the gap between both sides.

4. Journalists and media houses to respect act 27-2004.

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