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New media law contravenes international standards, says NUSOJ report

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - NUSOJ has released a report on the new media law that was passed by Somalia's Transitional Federal Parliament on 8 December 2007.

"Due to vaguely worded articles and clauses, excessive measures on private media and foreign press, government control over any medium of communication, ambiguous registration process of any media organization and unwarranted powers for the government to control the media, the media law does not promote an environment in which free expression and media can flourish," said NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman.

The report examines some articles and clauses in the law and also expresses how these articles and clauses do not promote and protect free and responsible media. At least 17 articles in this law contravene international and regional standards and principles of democratic media law as stated in human rights instruments.

The report urges the international community, Somali media and the civil society to join forces against this law in order that the Transitional Federal Government make radical revisions to the law. "The law enforces repressive measures that plainly curtail freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom of opinion through any medium of communication," the report said.

"The international community should press officials of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia for an honest review of this law with the aim of creating a legal environment in which free media can operate. Before its implementation, this media law should meet the international test of the legitimacy of restrictions on free expression and media in a democratic society," the report further concluded.

To receive a copy of the full report, contact NUSOJ.

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