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Freedom of expression in Somalia

EDM (Early Day Motion) 206: tabled on 24 February 2020

Tabled in the 2019-21 session.

This motion has been signed by 16 Members. It has not yet had any amendments submitted.

Motion text

That this House is concerned by the new draft media law in Somalia that would restrict the right to freedom of expression; notes that the Federal Parliament of Somalia sought to amend media legislation to grant the Federal Ministry of Information extensive powers to interfere in the work of journalists and independent media houses, and impact on public interest reporting in country; further notes that the law has a number of unacceptably broad restrictions on the content of what may be published or broadcast, including a prohibition on false news, encouragement of tribalism, baseless propaganda and violating sound Somali culture; believes that the draft law would also establish a costly and unnecessary new system of prosecutors to bring and hear cases regarding media crimes; is concerned that the draft law includes legal sanctions for a long new list of media crimes which are vague and breaches a journalist’s right to confidential sources; agrees with the National Union of Journalists and the National Union of Somali journalists that the draft law could enable the Somali authorities at both Federal and State level to arbitrarily prosecute journalists to undercut free expression and access to information; and calls on the Government to press President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed to think again about the draft legislation and to decline to sign the media law and to ensure that any proposed amendments are in line with Somalia’s constitutional and international obligations and commitments to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the right to freedom of expression.

The first 6 Members who have signed to support the motion are the sponsors. The primary sponsor is generally the person who tabled the motion and has responsibility for it. The date shown is when the Member signed the motion.

In addition to the sponsors, the following Members have signed to support the motion.

There are no withdrawn signatures for this motion.