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NUSOJ concerned about implications of martial law for media freedom

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - On 20 August 2009, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) warned the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) not to stifle media freedom and the right of citizens to the free flow of information following the declaration of martial law.

On 19 August, the Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia (TFP) imposed martial law after the TFG presented the motion and requested that parliamentarians approve the law, which will be in operation for 3 months.

"Despite the fact that we support and welcome efforts to restore peace and rule of law, stabilize the country, and ensure the safety of citizens, we warn the TFG not to use martial law to curtail media rights. We witnessed several abuses, such as detention of journalists, torture of reporters, arbitrary arrests, closure of media houses and censorship, committed by TFG forces and officials when martial law was imposed in 2007," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

NUSOJ has, however, recorded lesser violations of press freedom by the TFG since the election of President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed and the formation of the Government of National Unity in comparison to other sides in the conflict.

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