The Somali Media Association (SOMA) and the Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ) commemorated the late TV journalist Abdifatah Moalim Nur, known as Qeys, during this year’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI) event in Mogadishu on Sunday.
Abdifatah Moalim Nur, who served as the Director of Somali Cable TV and a founding member of the Somali Media Association (SOMA), was killed when a suicide bomber detonated outside the Blue Sky restaurant near the national museum in Mogadishu on October 16, 2023.
The IDEI event was attended by several notable figures, including the Director of Independent Media at the Ministry of Information, the Secretary General of FESOJ, senior media consultants, civil society organization (CSO) members, representatives from media associations and media editors and directors, among other guests.
During the event, Farah Omar Nur, Secretary General of FESOJ, emphasized the importance of marking the 10th anniversary of IDEI, which began on November 2, 2013. He stressed the need for advocacy to prevent violence against journalists and called for the investigation and justice for the late Abdifatah Moalim Nur Qeys.
Director of Radio Risaala and an Executive Member of SOMA, Mohamed Abduwahab, noted the unfortunate coincidence of commemorating IDEI 2023 with the killing of Abdifatah Moalim Nur Qeys, a respected TV journalist who had contributed to various media outlets throughout his career. He urged attendees not only to grieve but also to take action in his memory.
Mohamed Mohamud Adde, Senior Media Consultant with FESOJ, emphasized the significance of commemorating IDEI to end Impunity for crimes against journalists and hold offenders accountable.
Said Hagaa, a senior media trainer, highlighted the importance of journalists adhering to professional ethics, demanding accountability from authorities, and insisting on investigations when journalists are threatened or harmed.
Fardwosa Sahal, an SNTV presenter, emphasized the need for practical implementation of laws to protect the safety of journalists as violence against them increases. Dini Mohamed Dini from the CSO underscored the necessity of harmonizing media laws with the constitution to enhance journalist protection. Additionally, Abdulkadir Mohamed Adde, Director of Independent Media at the Ministry of Information, suggested that independent media and the Ministry of Information collaborate to rectify existing mistakes.
In conclusion, participants recommended advocating for the safety and protection of journalists at both the federal government and Federal Member State levels. They also stressed the importance of establishing a Media Council and investigating violence against journalists and the media.
Somalia is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, facing threats from government entities, militant groups like Al-Shabab, and a few clan militias. According to the Somali Mechanism for the Safety of Journalists (SMSJ) records, 63 journalists and reporters were detained or arrested, four journalists were murdered, eight were injured, and 25 others were tortured. Furthermore, two media stations have been shut down in Somalia, including Somaliland, from June 2022 to June 2023.