Omar Faruk Osman
National Union of Somali Journalists (Somalia)
Abusive violations of the twine freedoms of expression and association occur regularly in Somalia with unmitigated impunity. The right to enjoy these rights is severely restricted and reporting together with documenting these abuses and violations is a very dangerous business in our country, although expressing oneself to defend these rights is even more dangerous, often followed by stigmatization and criminalization of the work of defenders of the rights of journalists, workers and their trade unions. But in the face of these threats, I refused to be browbeaten and I thought, “you have to fight for these rights, you cannot just bury your head in the sand”. If my colleagues and I do not do it now, no one will do it for fellow journalists and the working people of Somalia. Indeed, we continue to pay a high price, but personally, I am happy to do so, as long as our oppressors and their accomplices are exposed and will not get away with the oppression, and more particularly the Somalis will finally benefit from these inalienable human rights. With all the oppressions we have faced in the past seven years, we have confronted them with uninterrupted vigour, unprecedented trade union militancy and the determination to uphold the universal values of human rights with utmost tenacity. Whatever the duration of this sacred struggle, I am convinced that this perseverance will ultimately bear fruit – I keep this in mind every day and pushes me to act against oppression, in my hometown and across our motherland, SOMALIA.