Somalia: Federal parliament reviews Somalia’s 2016 media law

Mogadishu, Somalia (PANA) – Some provisions of Somalia’s current media law do not appear to comply with international standards of media legislation and regulation, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) in Somalia, Michael Keating, said on Monday.

Commenting on the recent introduction of legislation in Somalia’s Federal Parliament that would amend the country’s 2016 media law, Mr. Keating stated that a free and independent news media is essential for accountability and democracy.

According to a press statement issued by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), the SRSG said that Keating has welcomed parliamentary review that would amend the country’s 2016 media law.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo’s cabinet approved a package of amendments to the media law in July that fulfilled a commitment he made to Somalia’s leading media associations within weeks of taking office.

The amendments drew criticism from those media associations and some international human rights organizations for their limited scope and the introduction of new restrictions on existing press freedoms.

The UNSOM statement indicated that the proposed changes to the media law will be addressed by the Federal Parliament in the coming weeks.

It said the UN has urged Somalia’s lawmakers to give due consideration to the concerns raised by prominent members of news media about the existing law and the proposed amendments approved by the federal government’s cabinet.

“A careful and comprehensive review of the law and the proposed amendments will allow all key stakeholders to present their views. I hope the outcome of such a legislative process will promote a better environment for Somali journalists to practice their profession without fear,” Keating added.
-0- PANA AR/VAO 25Sept2017

25 september 2017 13:18:26

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