Somali president pledges crackdown on violence targeting journalists

November 11, 2012

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Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud pledged to respond aggressively to violence against journalists at a meeting with media professionals at the presidential palace in Mogadishu on Friday (November 9th), Somalia's RBC Radio reported.

The discussion focused on establishing a legal framework and creating a positive environment for the profession, as well as working to end the killing of journalists.

"The era of impunity must stop immediately," Mohamud said. "We are determined to find the perpetrators of these crimes against our brave journalists."

"The Somali government recognises the central role the media must play in ensuring transparency for the Somali people," he said. "Freedom of expression is a right enshrined in our constitution and we are determined to uphold and defend that right in the face of these heinous attacks."

Mohamud charged Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon with forming a task force to investigate and prosecute assassination attacks against Somali journalists. The National Union of Somali Journalists welcomed the president's overture.

This year has been the deadliest on record for journalists in Somalia, with 18 media professionals assassinated. So far, none of the killers has been apprehended, the news agency reported.

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