SJS Executive Committee pose for a photogroup session after end of their bi-annual meeting in Mogadishu
SJS Executive Committee Members pose for a photogroup session after end of their bi-annual meeting in Mogadishu, Sunday 6 December, 2020. |Photo/SJS.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, 07 December 2020 – Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) concludes its bi-annual Executive Committee (EXCom) Meeting at Armaan Halls in Mogadishu on Sunday 6 December 2020, with endorsement of the 2021 Strategic Plan, approving of the 2021 Budget, and reviewing the journalists’ Code of Conduct.

The union’s EXCom deliberations also endorsed the Audit Report of the 2020 Budget Review inline with the organization’s Constitution and acknowledged the contributions of the union members and other supporters who stood with SJS since its inception.

SJS Secretary General, Abdalle Ahmed Mumin described the 2020 as a very critical year full of many challenges but also some achievements for the Somali Journalists Syndicate.  SJS became a member of two important bodies: the Congress of African Journalists (CAJ) and the international civil society coalition (CIVICUS).

“This has been a very critical year for us. First of all the Covid-19 pandemic had blocked our activities in addition to the many security challenges we had faced,” Secretary General, Mr Mumin added, “While the threats against the journalists increased, we were always under constant pressure, our officials threatened, intimidated, but we were going to stop. We were able to respond to every single case timely and safely despite with limited resources available.”

“This year alone SJS intervened four cases of prosecuted journalists whom we have won securing their freedom thanks to the support and solidarity from our local and international partners,” Mr. Mumin said.

On his side, SJS President, Mohamed Ibrahim has noted that despite SJS being a small organization, in the past one year it has endured numerous pressures and even scaled up its scope of work and geographic coverage.

“When you look at the achievements we made and the pressures we were working under, it is like that SJS is hundreds of years old,” SJS President,  Mohamed Ibrahim adds, “This is because we have a very dynamic and experienced team willing to serve for and represent the interest of our members and the entire Somali journalists.”

Among issues discussed were: the safety of the journalists during the 2020/2021 election as well as the draconian Media Law, which not only restricts media freedom and the safe conduct of journalism in the country but also threatens journalists for reporting critically. SJS will remain on the forefront of the campaigns seeking to repeal this repressive law.

The meeting, which was wrapped up late on Sunday, unanimously voted for Mr. Hanad Ali Guled as the new Secretary of Training and Education.

Finally, SJS EXCom meeting paid tribute to two slain colleagues (Mr. Abdiwali Ali Hassan and Mr. Said Yusuf Ali) who were killed this year.