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Parliament Passes Media Bill

The Somali Federal Parliament on Monday passed the media bill unanimously. The bill which prior was endorsed by the Somali Cabinet, now awaits the President’s signature to come into force as a law.

The media bill for the Somali media and journalists has been one of the union’s primary priority, a mid the country is heading toward transition in the 2016, which puts the security of the workers at stake during the election period and can not be properly addressed without the Media law, which provides proper protection and freedoms.

Some analysts claim that the bill seriously damages the independence of the media and the right to freedom of expression in the country as it contains articles which force editors and journalist to disclose source of information if demanded by the state . It also requires journalists to have a degree and pass an exam set by government media commission.

The Somali journalists reaction to the bill is mixed with some equating to the repressive law under former military rule while others are cautious not to comment before reading the final version of the proposed law.