Somaliland Marks World Press Freedom Day

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Bill on Press Act will be drafted swiftly, says Minister Ali Marehaan, as he calls on the opposition fraternity not to be wary of public media

 

The Minister of the Ministry of Information, Culture and National Guidance who doubles as the spokesperson of the government Hon. Ali Hassan Mohamed “Ali Marehaan” has promised that the Somaliland press law will be drafted and will be presented to the legislative councils as soon as possible.

He told the opposition fraternity not to be wary of the public media for the information department will always be impartial as per required legal regulations.

The minister said this at an event to commemorate the World Press Freedom Day usually observed on the 3rd of May which was held in the capital Hargaisa on Saturday and was attended by several members of the council of ministers, the First Deputy chairman of the Kulmiye Party, Somaliland press organizations, and other dignitaries.

Hon. Ali Mohamed congratulated the media in Somaliland, Africa and the rest of the world as a whole for the steadfastness being committed to their duties.

He said while acknowledging their chores, “the media fraternity everywhere around the globe work all through the hours hence do their duties to the hilt, however, criticism abound whether it is in the public or private media; though what is a necessity is the fact that they should all adhere to honesty, truthfulness and patriotism’”.

As for the issues regarding the press law, he explained that there is law 27 that came out in 2004 which he said that it is “a brief law and it needs to be expanded and supplemented to include what is missing”.

He said that he has met the SOLJA journalists committee and that the association was already working on it.

He said that concerted efforts to comprehensively work on the Somaliland Press Act is in the process and would be accomplished as soon as possible.

He said that the law had seventy-three articles, and needed some streamlining.

“We will meet soon to draft the law and then according to the procedure, we will submit it to the council of ministers and thence to the parliament”, he said.

Saying that the bills of the law was presented to the parliament before during a time that he himself was an MP but several bottlenecks were placed especially by the media fraternity who claimed that they were not consulted.

He pledged that they will see to it that the media Bill will be drafted professionally in due course.

He pointed out that a nation’s image ought to be impeccable and it is indeed moulded by the press.

The Minister of Information has made it clear that the national media is in the midst of the election and there is a rule in this regard.

The minister said that the media, including the public one, have legally ought to be impartial.

He called on the opposition fraternity not be wary of the public media for fear of impartiality but should work with them, especially now that the electioneering process is underway and the political campaigning season is around the corner.

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