The report highlights violations of journalists' rights, such as the victimising of staff who lost their jobs after refusing to compromise their professional ethics. It features the case of Farah Lamaane, a former RBK senior editor who was forced to resign after complaining of unwarranted interference with editorial independence by the station's management.
(NUSOJ/IFEX) – March 9, 2012 – The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) released a new report finding that Radio Bar Kulan (RBK) violated international labour rights standards and labour laws. RBK is a station headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, that is run by Albany Associates International UK Limited under UN funding.
The report, which is entitled “Reaping from the Sweat of Journalists: The Case of Emasculation of Media Workers” found abuses, exploitation and maltreatment of journalists committed by RBK after journalists who currently work for the station or those who left or were forced to resign complained to the union over salaries of journalists, benefits and working conditions as well.
“Journalists who worked or who are working at the moment at the RBK are victims of unfair and often abusive treatment. Accounts of maltreatment as well as abuse are horrifying and unacceptable, especially from a company that was contracted to help contribute to the stabilization of Somalia, but which has now put the lives of journalists in miserable conditions of work,” the report said.
NUSOJ’s report reveals “that journalists at RBK are overworked, unprotected, and are not granted occupational health and safety. RBK urgently needs to protect, respect and recognise the journalists’ right to a safe and professional work environment”.
The report also found that journalists working for RBK have suffered discrimination in hiring and in their work assignments, a clear violation of international and national laws.
“It is clear from the onset of these occurrences that RBK station is in total breach of fundamental human rights, the Constitution of Kenya and the Labour Laws on the limbs of freedom of expression and association. As a matter of fact the manner of employment, dismissal or sacking it has employed is against the stipulated procedure as per the Employment Act of Kenya,” the report added.
“This is the start of the liberation of journalists and other media workers at this radio station,” said Ahmed Mohamud Mohamed, NUSOJ Secretary for Labour Issues. “We will fight to the last drop of our blood, and we shall not relent until we actualise our goal for a decent working environment for all journalists, including those of Radio Bar Kulan.”
“This is just the tip of the iceberg of what is in store for us to fight for journalists’ labour rights, and we shall not hesitate to use all that we have in our arsenals and at our disposal to ensure that journalists’ rights are recognised and upheld,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary-General.