By Mohamed Abdi Farah
Nairobi, November 23, 2007 - Officials from the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders (EHARD) and United Nations Human Rights Organization on Friday met some of the Exiled Somali Journalists in Nairobi, Kenya and handed them some assistance package from the National Endowment for Democracy.
Hasan Shire Sheik, the chairperson of EHARD along with the United Nations Human rights advisor for Somalia Renaud Detalle have taken a meeting with 17 members of the Somali journalists that fled their home country (Somalia) for insecurity problem.
The meeting took place in United Nations Development Program (UNDP) headquarter in Nairobi where Mr. Shire, the human rights activist pass some assistance to the journalists who had been living in difficult condition.
Mr. Shire said his East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders succeeded a project for protecting the exiled Somali journalists in Nairobi and also whose who are still suffering inside the country.
“This is a project intended to support all journalists that fled Somalia for their security and this program will also help the journalists that still remain in the country like to support them with equipments to protect themselves from the war,” Hassan Shire told Somalinet after meeting with the journalists.
With the help of the international organizations he said the project will also provide help to the wounded journalists to admit them to hospitals in Uganda or Kenya.
Shire said it is the greatest number of journalists that fled from Somalia and this shows the extent of the disaster.
Renuad Detella, who has also spoken in the session, said he was unhappy with the problems faced the journalists in Somalia and showed support to the exiled Somali journalists.
“We are very sorry about the violence in Somalia that had an impact on the free media. We can understand the scale of the problem on the journalists. We know that some journalists were killed, some were wounded and dozens of others fled the country fearing of been harassed,” said Detella.
The exiled journalists at the meeting thanked EHAHRD and United Nations Human Rights office for their support and optimism.
East and Horn Africa Human Rights Defenders is the only organization in the region that paying more efforts on how the suffering Somali journalists would be helped and receive protection then trainings for their provision.