Promoting Media sustainability project – NED supported project that led the advocacy and lobby activities;
In protest to the restrictive media law, MAP launched a significant advocacy and lobby media law reform targeting the Puntland Ministry of information, the Puntland lawmakers and the of the Puntland President.
Timeline of key events
In 2015 September, under the National Endowment for democracy (NED) supported project ‘’ promoting media sustainability in Puntland’’, MAP mobilized Media stakeholders -Puntland lawmakers (50%), civil society organizations (22%), officials from the Puntland Ministry of information, culture and Heritage (5%), and media practitioners (13%) – for consultations on the review of the media law.
The consultations resulted in consensus on the revision for the Puntland Media Law, participants proposed;
a. The appointment of a review committee comprising 6-technical experts drawn from the media stakeholders in Puntland.
b. They suggested the committee to consult with Puntland Ministry of information, MAP, Civil society groups and the Parliamentary media committee during the review of the medial law.
c. Participants further suggested the reviewed draft law be delivered to the Minister of information who will then inform the President and submit to parliament to pass the bill and finally back to the President for enactment.
25th October 2015: At the 36th Puntland parliament session (Mr. Abdiweli the state president was present in this meeting) the association has given a speech at the session urged both parliament and government officials to respect the media freedom and collaborate on the review of the controversial media law as of the outcome of the19-20/9/2015 consultative media stake holders workshop.
28th October 2015 at the agenda setting session of the Puntland parliament, 40 MPs voted for the media law to be inclusive in the Parliament agenda for discussion. This comes as a major achievement and hope for MAP despite the Minister of information’s unwillingness to support the media law reform initiatives. As of date the Puntland media law is #13 out #15 agenda points set for discussion in the parliamentary session 2015/2016.
August 7, 2016 MAP and the Ministry of information signed a historic landmark agreement following a 2year battle on policy reform, while acknowledging the need of change, both sides agreed to review the media law and bring it in conformity with the Puntland constitution article 25 and international standards of freedom of expression (Media independence and access to information).
6th December 2016; Media law reformed – Parliament approves new rules fit for the Media independence and Freedom of Expression. Parliament’s vote ends more than 2 years of work on a reform of Puntland Media law. The reform will replace the contemporary restrictive media law which was passed by the current Puntland administration.
MAP is extremely grateful to the National endowment for democracy (NED) for their support;
- Participants trained by the NED supported project launched the Puntland Media Law review lobby and were key drivers in successful advocacy campaigns for press freedom in 2015. The lobbying targeted the office of the Puntland president and the Puntland parliament.
It is without qualms that, without the NED support we could not make it to this astonishing attainments on the media law reform, adding, we sincerely appreciate the National Endowment for democracy (NED) in supporting MAP’s effort on Promoting, protecting freedom of expression and media freedoms while developing professional and responsible media in Puntland State, Somalia, Said MAP chair in his remarks while acknowledging the NED support.
The Media Association of Puntland (MAP) similarly is thankful to the ground-support too, received from individual journalists, human rights activists, local and international groups for their efforts, critical minds and insistent commitment while on the advocacy and lobby journey campaigning against the restrictive Media law. Specifically, UNSOM human rights office Garowe, the Human rights watch (HRW) Nairobi office, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP), Puntland independent office of Human rights, Puntland Non-State Actor’s Association (PUNSAA) and finally the technical-expertise major contributor to the campaign the TAYO center for Media excellence (TCME).
The regulation will enter into force after presidential enactment, constitutionally the president has got 30 days to either sign and or to disagree and bring back to parliament. Its provisions will be directly applicable in all media outlets and practitioners in the Puntland State of Somalia.
On the presumption that the Puntland president signs the bill into law, hopefully, there will be a need to mobilize, raise awareness and train Puntland journalists, Puntland courts, lawyers and Human rights groups on the media law to ensure a successful implementation of the media law to prevent misunderstanding and lack of knowledge and awareness of the law regulating the media.
Finally, the Media Association of Puntland will also seek support and take a major role in coordinating the establishment process of the Puntland media council. If this goes as planned the Media Association is confident that Media in Puntland will far much improve to a standard equivalent to developed democratic nations around the globe.
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