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NUSOJ RECEIVES DEMOCRACY COURAGE AWARD

Kudos to IFEX member the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), which has won the World Movement for Democracy's (WMD) Democracy Courage Award on behalf of Somali journalists.

"Somali journalists have shown courage, perseverance and devotion for their struggle for democracy and press freedom. They strongly defend and promote values of human rights in the most difficult circumstances," said Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), one of the founders of WMD.

Amid a backdrop of daily shootouts between Islamist insurgents, warlords and Ethiopian-backed Somali government forces, "death threats, arrests, killings, fears of arrest and intimidations of media professionals are alarmingly common in our country," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ secretary general.

One journalist has been killed this year in Somalia, and 2007 was the most dangerous year for journalists in the country's history, with eight journalists killed. According to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), at least 50 journalists and media workers have fled the country in the past year to escape the violence.

WMD, an international network dedicated to promoting democracy, honoured NUSOJ at its fifth assembly in Kiev, Ukraine, from 6 to 9 April.

Visit these links:
- NUSOJ: http://allafrica.com/stories/200804101021.html
- IFJ: http://www.ifj.org/default.asp?Index=6047&Language=EN
(15 April 2008)

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