Friday, October 28, 2011

Does harassing journalists help the Somaliland's claim of being peaceful and Democratic part of Somalia?

It is always the talk of the Somaliland politicians and authorities that the region is an example of growing democracy and peace in the war torn of horn of Africa nation.

At the international conferences and when receiving diplomats the leaders do not shy away to be proud of what they call as  " an independent and peaceful republic, which is on its way of seeking international recognition, despite Violations of Press Freedom and ordeals subjected to the journalists.

It is unfortunate that democracy, the strongest political tool for Somaliland, is not fully practiced.

We can think of democracy as a system of government with four key elements:

A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections.

2.  The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life.

3.  Protection of the human rights of all citizens.

4.  A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.

Have Somaliland Authorities met with all these standards? No Really.

In a democracy, every citizen has certain basic rights that the state cannot take away from them. These rights are guaranteed under international law.

You have the right to have your own beliefs, and to say and write what you think. No one can tell you what you must think, believe, and say or not say.

There is freedom and pluralism in the mass media. You can choose between different sources of news and opinion to read in the newspapers, to hear on the radio, and to watch on television.

It seems that Somaliland authorities think only democratic election through ballots can help claim a democratic republic.

The federation of Somali Journalists: FESOJ, has documented at least dozens of flagrant violations and abuses against journalists in Somaliland, among them beating journalists, arbitrary arrests and threats in the line of their duty.

The most recent freedom case in Somaliland was decumented on Thursday Oct. 27, 2011 by FESOJ office in Mogadishu.

Journalist, Mohamed Abdi Kahin, who works for both a Somali new website Ramaas and Royal Television 24, was seriously beaten by Somaliland police with baston.

The police men who attacked the journalist accused him of taking recently published photographs.

More badly, the journalist was denied access to file a case against his assailants to the Police, something that shows how also the justice system in Somaliland is not even-handed.

"They did what they could  and I was denied access to the police station, that is not fair" Mohamed Abdi Kahin told FESOJ, with a very low and sad voice.

Repeated calls and appeals to the Somaliland authorities to stop such unacceptable human rights violation against journalists seem to have fallen into deaf ears.

"We condemn the act to our strongest terms possible and call for Somaliland leaders to stay on the line of real democracy and such unwelcome actions have to end ," said FESOJ chairman, Mohamed OLad Hassan

FESOJ has also asked the Somali journalists and organizations that stand for their rights and advocacy to show solidarity with the Somaliland journalists.

FESOJ has also sent a letter of request asking the United Nations and other Human right Organizations to mount press on Somaliland authorities to respect the freedom of the media.


+25261-554-0001 - deputy chairman Ibrahim Mohamed Moalimuu
+1571-2167331 - the chairman - Mohamed Olad Hassan - the chairman

FESOJ is  a partner Press freedom organization of the SOJANET.

Written by FESOJ chairman Mohamed Olad Hassan and Posted by SOJANET secretary general Mohamed Odowa

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Suicide bombings demoralize journalists in Somalia.

By Mohamed Olad Hassan. 
MOGADISHU (FESOJ) –The Tuesday’s truck suicide bomber that killed more than 70 people, majority of them students, who gathered to check exam results and their accompanying parents, did not only shocked the world but also demoralized Somali journalists, who always cover the news and the stories of often dangerous terrain Mogadishu.
The previous similar incident that targeted a graduation ceremony in Mogadishu in 2009 killed more than 20 people, including three journalists and four government ministers.

In these latest dreadful outrage journalists, Abdulkadir Mohyadin a camera man for the Somali National Television (SNTV) and Ali Hassan known as Ali Hiiraan who works for the Universal Television, not only as a journalist but also as a comedian, sustained slight injuries on one hand each. The two journalists were hit by flying shrapnel.

Whenever an explosion of suicide bomber targets gathering and events it is most likely that journalists become among the casualties due to their work that inspires them to be present and report such events.

 Several journalists who work for the international media outlets who spoke to the FFESOJ office in Mogadishu, showed fear for their life, and said “if such suicide bombings continue, they will think about seeking refuge in the neighboring countries”.

 One other issue that demoralizes the journalists is that they are not paid well, despite working in an environment that foreign journalists are not allowed to operate on a regular basis.
Media owners both inside and outside Somalia abuse the Somali journalists rights by offering them very low payments and putting a heavy and dangerous work duty on them, including taking pictures from the frontlines.

“To avoid accountability foreign media offers Somali journalists stringer positions with a salary as low as $500 and order them to work hard and send daily, reports and images in the believe that they can take advantage of three things; first, the fact that the journalists are in need of jobs to survive because there is no other option or work availability in the country, second, they will not think about insurance or compensation if the journalists die in the line of duty and third is that they can immediately sack him if he or she asks payment increase or promotion” said the chairman of the Federation of Somali Journalists, Mohamed Olad Hassan.

He also condemned the foreign media outlets policies and their treatments with the Somali journalists.

He called for the media owners to respect the humanity and deal with their reporters in the hostile environment similar to how they treat with their journalists in the stable countries.

FESOJ office in Mogadishu
+25261-5540001 FESOJ Deputy Chairman Mohamed Ibrahim
Mohamed Olad Hassan, FESOJ Chairman
5770 Dunster Court 372
Alexandria, VA 22311
Cell: +15712167331

Friday, August 19, 2011

Covert discrimination against Somali Media must be stopped.

By Mohamed Odowa
Somalia media today protest against the wide discrimination by the government security force as well as the Ministry of information during the welcoming ceremony of the Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday.
More than 50 mainly working for the local Media houses include televisions, radio and websites have been denied to cover the news over the arrival of the Prime Minister as the journalists had been given Identity cards by the Somalia’s information ministry.
 Many journalists included the director of the Universal TV Ibrahim Mohamed Hussein and more others have been intimidated by forces loyal to government as the journalists were trying in accessing their coverage duties.
The government leaders such the President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and his Prime Minister Abdi-wali Mohamed Ali were seemingly watching over the harassments against the media workers.   Radios and TV equipments included Video cameras were taken from some journalists by the government security force. Somali Journalists Associations Network condemns with its strongest words for this awful discriminations and calls to the government leaders to make investigation over the allegations.
Several journalists told SOJANET that some government troops guarding the area warned journalists to kill
Journalists from western countries who were already inside at the Halane Camp and the areas of the International Aden Adde airport were also unable to participate at the ceremony as most of them were reportedly harassed and banned by the government forces.
Only a few journalists who work at the government run radio Mogadishu and small number of outside media workers were able to cover the news about the arrival of the Prime Minister and his delegates.
“This is shameful for all government sectors. The freedom of the press in this country is very important for whole nation and the outside. "We would demonstrate with our colleagues until apologies the bad actions happened today,” said SOJANET   
 The Prime Minister’s visit to Mogadishu was an attempt to draw the world’s attention to the war torn Somalia followed by the worst drought and famine. Turkey is amongst dozens of Islamic countries pledging a $350 million dollars to famine relief under Organization of Islamic.
SOJANET questioned on why the information ministry allowed journalists to cover such news if it’s not prepared with its commitments for ensuring the safety of the journalists and their media equipments!  

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Puntland court released Hiiraan online journalist.

By Mohamed Odowa

Somali Journalists Association Network—SOJANET welcomes the pardon of the Puntland president Abdurrahman Mohamed Farole over the release of Somali Journalist Faysal Mohamed Hassan known as Boston. Mr. Boston who works at the online Hiiraan Webpage was arrested on June 29. the journalist was released from prison in the Bosaso city on Sunday.

The National union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has been meeting with the minister of Information, his deputies and presidential staff members for the release of the journalist.

"We are glad that our colleague finally got his freedom back and welcome his release." Mr. Burhaan Dahir, the president of the NUSOJ Supreme council said, "We hope and urge the Puntland authorities improve the freedom of the press."

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Puntland court sentenced local reporter to one year in jail

By Mohamed Odowa

Somali Journalists Association Network has learned that Puntland court in the Bosaso the capital of Bari region sentenced a local reporter to one year in jail, local journalist told SOJANET via phone.

The verdict of the court was announced Saturday by the judger Sheikh Adan Aw-Ahmed after alleged the journalist Feisal Mohamed Hassan for false information on the Puntland’s administration.

Feisal Mohamed Hassan who writes for Hiiraan website had been arrested last Thursday. His lawyer was trying to appeal for him before the decision of the sentence was made , but that was denied by the court judger.

Somali Journalists Association Network believes that Puntland leaders seemingly to be opposed with the independent journalists in the region.  “In the recent days the administration of Puntland violated to the basic standards of fairness”. “They previously charged some local independent journalists with the same case of this journalist Feisal Mohamed Hassan”. The order against the journalist must be revealed and revised soon by the Puntland court", said SOJANET.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two radio stations have been closed by both ASWJ and al-shabaab groups.

By Mohamed Odowa

Somali Journalists association Network condemns the arrest of two independent radio stations in central Somalia regions. SOJANET calls to the hard-line group, al-shabaab and its rival of Ahlu-Sunna Wajama to respect for the independent radio stations as well the freedom of speech.    

Location: Central Somalia:
In Dhusa-Mareb the capital city of Gal-gaduud region

Forces loyal to Sufi group or Ahlu Sunna wajama stormed, RADIO DHUSA-MAREB on Thursday.

The reason: the station released reports on rifts between Ahlu-Sunna groups.

Ahlu-sunna Waljama leaders in Gal-gaduud region have announced earlier this week that the group's leaders will hold a conference in Abud-Wag district in the gal-gaduud region.

For that many other Sufi groups defy to participate the scheduled meeting of ahlu-Sunna Waljama.

Then Dhusa-Mareb Radio Station covered the news on the infighting between the group’s leaders.

In Baladwayne, the capital city of Hiiran region

Al-shabaab insurgents closed of Radio Voice of Hiiran on Wednesday.
The reason:  al-shabaab has got angry in Islamic programs released nowadays by the Radio Voice of Hiiran, a journalist in Baladwayne told SOJANET via phone.

The program was all about the Islam and the suicides... or what does the Islamic religion says about that. Al-shabaab wants youths to be sacrificed their lives what they call for the sake of Allah. Al-shabaab believes that anyone who does suicide attack to be martyr and the program of Radio Voice Hiiran was opposite to that.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

4 Journalists were detained in Mogadishu by government forces.

By Mohamed Odowa

Somali Journalists association network has learned that National Security Agency for Somali government has detained two radio journalists in the capital city of Mogadishu.
Both arrestees Mohamed Amin Abukar and Ahmed Ali Kaahiye are working for the privately owned independent Radio Kulmiye Based in the capital Mogadishu.

Mohamed Amin was the first journalist who has been arrested on Monday by force loyal to government. The journalist was reporting on the ongoing demonstrations and it was at this time when National Security Agency has arrived in the scene arresting for ten people including the journalist Mohamed Amin after alleged those people to be organizers for the protesters.

On Tuesday, the National Security Agency has again arrested 20 people who were mainly students and included another Radio Kulmiye Journalist Ahmed Ali Kaahiye while he was doing on his duties to report on protesters in KM4 areas.

“We are questing Somali government to release our colleagues Ahmed Ali Kaahiye and Mohamed Amin Abukar unless the government has a reasonable accusations clear for their arrests”, said Director of Radio Kulmiye Osman Guure.
Two other freelance journalists were also reported arrested by the government force according to Radio Kulmiye journalist Ali Bashi Abdullahi.

Journalist Ali Bashi told SOJANET that he managed to survive from arrest as he was also covering on the protesters.
SOJANET condemns the detention of the Journalists and however calls on the Somali government to release the journalists without precondition and let them to report freely about the insight stories.

Friday, June 3, 2011

"Daring to Report from Mogadishu"

"When I am away from the country, I feel that I am in exile, missing the most awful events and abuses targeting the innocent people," he explained. “All I want is to update my people's situation to the entire world and record the violations against the... Full Article at Somalia Report

Abukar Albadri
©Somalia Report
Abukar Albadri

Somali journalists mourn fallen colleague in South Africa.

By Mohamed Odowa

06/03/2011---Gangs from South Africa continue killing Somalis who fled that country. Now an exiled Somali journalist has been reported to be killed in that country especially the city of Johannesburg.
The late colleague Sakariye Ibrahim (Saki) was gunned down by South African gangs in this week.
The gangs were trying to take a car which belongs to the Journalist Sakariye according to other Somali journalists who are living in South Africa.
Somali Journalists Association Network condemns the killing of the journalist Sakariye Ibrahim Saki and it shares sadness with other colleagues and his family. SOJANET calls on the South Africa police to find the gangs and bring them to justice for the killing of journalists and to protect Somalis in that country.
Scores of Somali journalists have sought refuge into the neighboring nations due to the insecurity in their border and the massive killings against journalists in Somalia.     

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Somali colleague lost his right leg for surgery

By Mohamed Odowa

Somali Journalists Association Network concerns about the condition and the disheartening as well disappointments facing to the Somali Colleague Hassan Mohamed Mohamud known as Hassan- Jaeyl who is also a popular poetry after his right leg was cut due to the
diabetic that contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection. Sugar also causes a loss of tissue elasticity and other serious diseases.

Well known Somali journalists including Ali Muse Abdi, AFP correspondent, C.Risak Hagi Atoosh, BBC Reporter, Zahra Abdi Ahmed VOA and Reuter’s correspondent, Mohamed Garane Aadan Irin Radio reporter and Mohamed Osman Newyork all have expressed their hospitality to arrange contributions from other colleagues to hospitalize Hassan, the Victim who was in South B Hospital inside Nairobi, Kenya.

The contribution made the surgery operation to be done, but this also left Hassan with frustration for his future.

"We need to help each other instead of asking other people for help, we can do a lot more about this to solve our internal problems to contribute one another when such matters come to our colleagues”, said Journalists

"Some individuals collect a huge funds/ donations with the name of Somali journalists from the outside donors while doing nothing for needed Somali journalists, but are corrupted", continued journalists.
Attending visitors were among the Somali parliament member Awad Ahmed Hasharo and CPJ’s East Africa consultant, based in Nairobi Tom Rhodes.

Click here below link for an exclusive images and details about the victim and volunteers

Sunday, May 15, 2011

In Mogadishu, Journalists get hard news with risks.

By Mohamed Odowa

Somali journalists venture out in visiting Mogadishu’s war zones where AU force along with government soldiers launched an offensive against the hard-line group of Al- shabaab insurgents, Somalia’s extremist Islamists that controls swathes of the country

The journalists have been visiting in some parties of Mogadishu like Hodan and H/wadag districts where too much fighting continues these days. “I am really telling that Somali journalists are still working hard for their nation, but sorry most of them don’t get thanks let alone protection”, said a Somali civil society member Abduhab Mohammed Ali.    
Somali Journalists Association Network, a small organization defends and speaks for journalists and freedom of expression had striven joining a group of Somali journalists who covered the facts over the battle areas in Mogadishu which parties of it became like a frost place.
SOJANET aims at this coverage which was done on 14, May 2011 by Mohammed Odowa to provide the facts behind the danger which might happen to those journalists while filling the ongoing war stories said SOJANET chairman Omar Nur Gutale. Readers can learn the above exclusive photos on how journalists deal with Mogadishu’s war.
Thank you for your comments on this
Mogadishu, Office  

Friday, May 6, 2011

"FESOJ launches its Website"

Federation of Somali Journalists-FESOJ launches its Website and here is clickable for everyone interested in visiting it.  

Somali Journalists Association Network-SOJANET pleased at this launch and thanks to all colleagues for the effort to start the website.

Read more:

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Exile journalists urge UNHCR to adopt corrective policies.

In a joint statement received today, the Somali exiled journalists in
Kenya condemned the deliberate inaction and the systematically-adopted
policy by UNHCR of ignoring their Pressing problems and needs.

According to the journalists concerned, the UNHCR offices are
systematically ignoring and turning down their legitimate insecurity
claims and in most cases refuse to even listen to their legitimate and
simple pleas for assistance.

According to one journalist, who requested his identity to be hidden,
he has sought refuge in Kenya approximately a year ago and as per his
friends advice, he promptly visited the UNHCR office in Nairobi only a
day after he had arrived in Nairobi, when he finally reached there, he
was surprised to be received with arrogance and impatience by the
UNHCR staff.

“When ever I tried to explain anything, the registration staff was
inpatient, arrogant and utterly manner less, their final words were

Driven by strong security guards, I was forced to take the appointment
slip which indicated that my next appointment date will be eleven
months after that fateful day, ELEVEN MONTHS TO BE INITIALLY

Another journalist who experienced the same issue with UNHCR  goes by
the name “ Abdi”, Abdi explains his extended suffering with UNHCR
office in Nairobi saying that, he also has gone through the same
procedure explained above and was also given appointment date which
was nearly after ten months, and as result of that ,he has angrily
thrown his appointment slip inside nearby dustbin with the watchful
eyes of UNHCR officer who laughed carelessly while chanting faintly in
Swahili- “WARYAA WAJINGA” which roughly translates “CRAZY SOMALI

“Shortly after that, I realized that UNHCR is no more than just a big
lie, A BIG FREAKING BRAZEN FAT LIE” adds Mr.Abdi with quavering voice.

Another UNHCR  victim, “Mohamed” who used to be influential journalist
back in Mogadishu and still retains his strong and charismatic voice
adds ruefully;” I’ve got my UNHCR Mandate paper recently, and since
then I’m regular visitor to the UNHCR Protection office to address my
other problems which mainly spins around insecurity issues, the
protection staff are more like commercial bank cashers, they avoid
engaging in any direct conversation with you, as if you were infected
with leprosy, they actually hide behind thick layer of glass with
small aperture to pass written complain letters which then apparently
collected in Huge sacks and perhaps used to cook “UGAALI” – a popular
Kenyan traditional dish, or maybe  as rumored in EastLiegh –the
letters are used as cheap toilette papers; after its competitive
cleaning advantages have been discovered by UNHCR brilliant minds”.
Adds Mohamed

“ The Protection office problems are not limited only by its staff
behavior and their odd characteristics ,but more importantly, the fact
that ;there are literally no respect for personal privacy as if the
refugees are emotionless, senseless inhuman beings, to give an obvious
example , the protection officer usually sits behind a think layer of
glass, and can roughly hear you only when you rise your voice loudly ,
now, considering the level of sensitivity associated with the refugee
protection claims specially when it comes to reporting sexual related
matters (i.e. Rape, child molestation, sexual harassment and
protection claims based on insecurity or sophisticated political
conditions, its totally unacceptable that personal privacy is not
regarded as one of the UNHCR priorities” continues Mohamed.

Finally, The Somali Exiled journalists in Kenya urge the UNHCR to
adopt corrective policies with strict rules and mechanisms to ensure
the rights of Somali refugees particularly the exiled journalists are
fully protected, it’s very obvious that some of the UNHCR staff is
dealing with the refugees particularly Somali refugees in a manner
that is way far from the international humanitarian norms, and its
crystal clear that something ought to be done to restore the refugee
community’s  confidence in this crucial International organization.

By: ABDI ,

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Somalia government released two journalists

The Somalia's government has released two national journalists who are working for an independent Shabelle Radio after 4 days in detention the managers of the station said in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon.

The colleagues Abdirashid Omar Qase the director of radio shabelle and his news editor Abdi Mohamed Ismail are now free after four days of illegal detention by the National Security Agency without given an official reason for that.

The government accused Shabelle Radio on a report which stated that President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has been unable to visit to the fronline areas, after repel groups were push out by the Somali forces with help of AU peacekeeping force in Mogadishu.

The release comes amid another local reporter of radio Simba was wounded by stray bullet while he was covering from a soccer match in Mogadishu on Tuesday. The condition of the journalist Ahmed Hassan Ahmed is said to be worried.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"A Somali journalist still gets taunting threats in exile",

It was February 2008 when Bahjo Mohamud Abdi received her first anonymous phone call. It was a man's voice asking her to confirm who she was. Abdi was a presenter and correspondent for the state radio in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland. Abdi confirmed her identity and thought no more about it. But then she received another anonymous phone call two hours later--informing her that she was talking to the "Somali Mujahadeen" and that they could see her in the local shopping center in downtown Baidoa. follow up the link for reading this interesting news article from CPJ's webiste.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Two radio journalists were detained in Mogadishu.

A local reporter who spoke on condition of anonymity told SOJANET that soldiers loyal to Somali government were involved to the arrest of journalists which took place on Sunday, March, 27,2011.

Abdi Mohamed Ismael the editor of the independently owned Radio Shabelle and the stations director Abdi Omar Qase were detained by the Somalia's intelligence unit of force. The journalists were taken to the Central Investigations Department by intelligence officers.

It is not yet clear why the Somali Government arrested the journalists?. But the fast breaking news said the Somali Intelligence Unit are asking both arrested journalists with questions on a report released by the Shabelle Radio last week that heavy fighting between al-Qaida inspired Somali terrorist" group Al Shabaab and government troops with help of AU peacekeeping force in Mogadishu has later prevented Somalia's president for visting the front line to talk to soldiers who were fighting with Al shabaab fighters.

The Somali Journalists Association Network however condemns with the strongest words for the arrest of these two colleagues, "we are calling Somali government to release the detained journalists and be kind of journalists since journalists in the country are the only source of this conflict", SOJANET said on Sunday.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

5 predictions for journalism in 25 years

The following is cross-posted from XCity Magazine, the student magazine for City University, where I teach online journalism. They asked me to look ahead 25 years. I barely think you can look five years ahead at the moment, but I agreed anyway. This is, of course, not meant to be taken seriously: Follow these five predictions here at this page link;

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Warring sides in Somalia randomly 'arrest' journalists

Since 1992, 34 journalists have been killed in Somalia, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. This doesn't take into account journalists who die in car accidents, but only instances where deaths are work-related. In 2010 two Somali journalists were killed as a direct result of their work, Sheikh Nur Mohamed Abkey, who worked for state-run Radio Mogadishu, was gunned down near his home, and Barkhat Awale, director of Hurma community radio, was killed by a stray bullet from nearby fighting.
Read more:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Attacks on the Press 2010: Introduction

Attacks on the Press 2010: Introduction

International Institutions Fai l To Defend Press

Here is the link to CPJ's story about the Attacks on the Press 2010, published on 15 February in the CPJ Website.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Al-Shabab releases Reuter’s Cameraman.

Mogadishu-- al- Qaeda inspired Somali terrorist group Al shabab has today released prominent Somali photographer working for Reuters News Agency.
Journalist Abdi Dhagane Eye, Abdi Yare was taken a hostage with his Video-camera by shabab members on Saturday, 19 February, 2011,.But shabab has released the journalist later on Sunday

Reuter’s cameraman puts hands of Shabab in Mogadishu.

Mogadishu-- al- Qaeda inspired Somali terrorist group Al shabab has detained a prominent Somali photographer working for Reuters News Agency without given reason.

Journalist Abdi Dhagane Eye, Abdi Yare was taken a hostage with his Video-camera by shabab members in, 19 February, 2011.  

The perpetrators assigned several media workers included journalist Abdi Dhagane to cover from food distribution in the areas of Karan district in northern Mogadishu.

The food distribution was said to be prepared by al shabab themselves, but later that as the journalists reached at the scene shabab gunmen immediately caught journalist Abdi Dhagane targeting with his car as well as his camera, local journalist told SOJANET.

It is still unconfirmed why the reason behind this was. Al shabab had not yet spoken about the detention of journalist Abdi Dhagane.

As SOJANET condemns Al shabaab perpetrators for the arrest of journalist Abdi Dhagane Eye and worrying for his situation, "we however call Al shabab to release the journalist without preconditions and let journalists to move freely for their duties on reporting the news on the ground”. Said SOJANET secretary General Mohammed Odowa. 
In Somalia, scores of journalists have been killed and dozens have been wounded, tortured and arrested. All work under oppressive censorship.

Source: SOJANET,

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mortar wounds two journalists in Somalia.

Journalists Sadam Adan Mohamed and Mustaf Mohamed Ali both based in the deadly city of Mogadishu have been wounded today on February 14, 2011 from a mortar blast fired by Al shabaab insurgents according to local reporter who spoke on condition of anonymity.         
The wounded journalists were among a group of other reporters who were invited to a press conference held by a senior officer of Ahlu-Sunna Waljama for Banadir Region. “We were informed to come and participate for a press conference with Ahlu Sunna Wal-jama officials in areas of Wadada-Shaqalaha-(workers’s street) of the Hodan distract”. “We heard a loud blast followed by mortar fire and I personally saw a several people wounded in the blast and two of the victims were our colleagues”, a local journalist told SOJANet.
A journalist Sadam Adan Mohamed who is said to be a photographer working for Shabelle Radio and his colleague Mustaf Mohamed Ali for Voice of Democracy-(VOD), were immediately rushed to a local Hospital.
The injury of the journalists came as a huge clash between the government forces with help of militias loyal to moderate group of Ahlu-sunna Wal-jama and that of Al shabaab fighters has been reported in many parties of the capital city, Mogadishu, witnesses said on Monday.
Somalia is dangerous place for journalists where local reporters are in the middle of a risks and dangers just for their reliable reports.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"One by one we would be Killed"

Here is the link to Philippa Melaniphy's story about the plight of Somali journalists, published on 4 February in the Walkley Magazine.

Here is a short excerpt:

International media organisations rely on inside reports from the world’s most unstable nation, but the violence and intimidation faced by Somali journalists goes unnoticed.

Perspiration drips from Mohammed Odowa’s face. A death sentence has been hanging over him for a while now. He watches as the armed militia pull scissors from their pockets. Is this how they’re going to kill me? Cut me into small pieces? Tracing the metal blades over Odowa’s scalp, the militia begin cutting rough chunks of hair. Suddenly he is released. But the message is clear: next time you will be

This is Somalia, the deadliest place in the world for journalists according to the Committee for Protection of Journalists (CPJ). The country is becoming a no-go zone for global media organisations as they increasingly depend on local freelance reporters for inside leads. But when local news goes international, Somali journalists are hunted down by the perpetrators they report on

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Our fallen colleagues...

The members of SOJANET were forced to flee Somalia or be killed. However, other journalists never had that chance. Below are some of our fallen comrades who were caught in the crossfire in Somalia, or targeted by insurgents for their reporting.

Source: The Committee to Protect Journalists

Barkhat Awale
Hurma Radio
August 24, 2010 in Mogadishu Somalia

Awale, 60, director of the community station Hurma Radio, was on the roof of the station helping a technician fix a transmitter when he was struck in the abdomen by a stray bullet from nearby fighting. His colleagues took him to Madina Hospital, where was pronounced dead.


Sheikh Nur Mohamed Abkey
Radio Mogadishu

May 4, 2010, in Mogadishu, Somalia

Three gunmen shot Abkey, a veteran Radio Mogadishu journalist, near his home in the southern Mogadishu district of Wardhigley.  Local journalists said Abkey's body, found in an alleyway, also showed evidence of torture.
Journalists at state-run Radio Mogadishu said they had received phone calls from the Al-Shabaab insurgency claiming responsibility for the murder. Radio Mogadishu journalists believed Abkey was killed simply because of his affiliation with the government-run station.

Abdulkhafar Abdulkadir
December 3, 2009, in Mogadishu, Somalia

Three journalists were killed in a suicide bomb attack at a Benadir University graduation ceremony in the capital, Mogadishu. In all, the explosion claimed the lives of at least 23 people, including several top government officials, according to news reports. Hassan Zubeyr, a cameraman for Al-Arabiya television, and Mohamed Amin, a Radio Shabelle reporter, were pronounced dead at the scene. Abdulkadir, a freelance photographer, died at a local hospital later in the day.
Minister of Information Dahir Mohamud Gelle told reporters that the suicide bomber was a suspected Al-Shabaab insurgent who was targeting government ministers attending the ceremony at the Hotel Shamo. 

NUSOJMohamed AminRadio Shabelle
December 3, 2009, in Mogadishu, Somalia

Amin, a Radio Shabelle reporter, was killed in a suicide bomb attack at a Benadir University graduation ceremony in the capital, Mogadishu. Amin, 24, had worked for Radio Shabelle for just six months. Both of his parents had recently been killed, making him the family’s primary provider.

In the same suicide bombing,  Hassan Zubeyr, a cameraman for Al-Arabiya television, was killed.

Radio Shabelle

Hassan Zubeyr
December 3, 2009, in Mogadishu, Somalia

Zubeyr, 29, was a technician at Radio Shabelle before he left in 2006 to work as a cameraman for Al-Arabiya. Zubeyr was survived by a pregnant wife and four children.

Mohamud Mohamed Yusuf
Radio IQK

July 4, 2009, in Mogadishu, Somalia

Yusuf, 22, was killed in crossfire shortly after presenting the morning news on Radio IQK in northern Mogadishu. Local journalists said the fighting was so intense that Yusuf, hit twice in the stomach, was unattended for roughly three hours. The journalist was eventually taken to Medina Hospital but died from blood loss. Yusuf worked at Radio IQK, a private radio station also referred to as Holy Quran Radio, for three years as a reporter, a presenter, and, occasionally, a producer, the National Union of Somali Journalists reported. He was survived by a wife and three children.

Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe

Radio Shabelle
June 8, 2009, in Mogadishu, Somalia

Hirabe, 48, was shot several times in the head by unidentified gunmen as he and a colleague, Ahmed Omar Hashi, were walking to work in the capital. Hashi, 41, was shot in the stomach and hand but survived. 
A veteran Radio Shabelle reporter, Hirabe took up the role as station director after the former director, Said Tahlil Ahmed, was murdered in February. A popular journalist, Hirabe had led a charity drive to help displaced Somali children in 2006. He was survived by two wives and five children.

SOJANET members. Kampala, Uganda.