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Somali media law open for consultation

45 media stakeholders gathered on Monday, 18 February 2013 in Mogadishu to consult about the state of the media in Mogadishu, with a particular focus on media law reform, the security and persecution of journalists.
The stakeholders welcomed the decision of the government - through the Ministry of Information, Telecommunications and Posts - in opening the 2007 media law for consultation.

The media law, which was hastily passed by the former transitional federal parliament in Baidoa on 8 December 2007, is not in line with the provisional federal constitution of Somalia and it does not meet international standards, despite repeated appeals from the media community against it.

The media law of 2007 fails to preserve freedom of expression and media freedom. The government has control over the media with this law, by determining rules for media operation and by defining journalists' professional standards. With this law, media freedom and the right to freedom of expression can be restricted in violation of international law, due to overly broad definitions, vaguely phrased articles and the creation of vaguely defined prohibitions and disproportionate punishments for journalists and media organisations.

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