Somalia’s Attorney General, Dr Suleiman Mohamed Mohamud, has appointed a special prosecutor for crimes against journalists.
The prosecutor will probe and prosecute “those who carried out killings and maiming of journalists,” Dr Mohamud said in a statement.
“In compliance with the Court order by Benadir Regional Court referred to as MGB / XG / 02/2020, issued on 21 May 2020, regarding the investigation into the killings of journalists in Somalia, the Attorney General has appointed Special Prosecutor for Crimes against journalists to investigate and apprehend those who involved, planned or carried out the killings and harassment against journalists in the past ” An official press statement from office of the Attorney General on Wednesday said.
“Attorney General assures to the public and journalists themselves that the perpetrators of the killings and harassment of journalists will be brought to justice to end the extrajudicial killings and harassment of Somali journalists and in accordance with Somalia laws and international laws, the Office of the Attorney General will ensure that investigative procedures and testimony in the cases of killings and harassment of journalists will be strictly observed” the press statement added.
This comes four months after the Banadir regional court directed the attorney general’s office to investigate allegations of killing of journalists in the country.
Media advocacy organisations in Somalia have hailed the appointment of the special prosecutor.
A tally by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) indicates that 69 journalists have been killed in Somalia since 1992, making the country one of the deadliest countries for journalists on the continent.
The Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ) also welcomes the appointment of the special prosecutor, saying it could be an initial solution to the high levels of impunity for crimes committed against journalists and media workers in Somalia.
“We welcome the appointment of a special prosecutor, but we want him to come up with real actions to resolve many of the standing and unresolved cases and also make a change the dire situation in which our journalists are working in. We do not want our ears to hear in the future that Somalia still is one of the first countries in the world that perpetrators who commit violence against journalists go unpunished” Mohamed Moalimuu Secretary General of Federation of Somali Journalists said
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