Somalia: Puntland president meets with MAP and media executives
GAROWE, Puntland - The new president of Puntland State, Said Abdullahi Deni received representatives from the local media at his office in Garowe on Wednesday evening, Garowe Online reports.
The meeting, the first of its kind since Deni's election last month was attended by the chair of MAP - the media association of Puntland, Mohamed Dahir and key stakeholders including a board of media directors.
The purpose of the symposium was aimed at laying the ground for better cooperation between the new government and the media as well as the safety of the journalists and their access to the information.
MAP said they shared their concerns and outstanding issues with the president to help create a friendly and secure environment, where the journalists can operate without any fear and reprisals.
"The president assured the media that his administration will support efforts to protect the safety of the journalists and freedom of expression in Puntland," said MAP in a statement, seen by GO.
The regional state faced heavy censorship, Intimidation, arbitrary arrests and draconian orders aimed at silencing the independent media by the former government led by Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas during his tenure [2014-2019].
This has undermined the media freedoms and obstructs the public’s right to know, which is a direct violation of the state constitution, the regional and the international treaties on freedom of expression.
Last year, CPJ said in its latest Global Impunity Index that Somalia has retained the dubious honor of being the world’s top media offender country for journalists for the fourth consecutive year ranking.
More than 60 media workers were killed since 1991. Al-Shabab and other hidden hands are suspected to have perpetuated the attacks against journalists. Many journalists have since fled the country.