Somalia

2010


Reports   |   Afghanistan, Belarus, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Somalia, Thailand, Yemen

As bombings spread, Pakistan deadliest nation

At least 42 journalists are killed in 2010 as two trends emerge. Suicide attacks and violent street protests cause an unusually high proportion of deaths. And online journalists are increasingly prominent among the victims. A CPJ special report

A December suicide attack in Pakistan's Mohmand tribal district claimed the lives of two journalists. (Reuters/Umar Qayyum)

Alerts   |   Somalia

CPJ welcomes release of Puntland journalist

Jama with his two sons. (Horseed Media)

New York, November 8, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the presidential pardon and release today of radio journalist Abdifatah Jama, who was imprisoned in August for airing an interview with an Islamist rebel leader in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland. CPJ had repeatedly called for his release.

Jama, deputy director of Horseed Media, had begun serving a six-year prison sentence after being convicted on treason charges in a closed-door trial. Jama had appealed the ruling, which was based on his authorization of an interview with Sheikh Mohamed Said Atom, who has waged a guerrilla war against the Puntland administration since 2005. 

November 8, 2010 6:13 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Attackers lob grenade at Puntland radio station

A grenade blew through the roof of Horseed FM's office in Bossasso. (Horseed FM)

New York, October 19, 2010--A pair of assailants lobbed a grenade Monday evening at Horseed FM, a private radio station broadcasting from the port city of Bossasso, the economic capital of Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region, according to local reports. After the grenade exploded, one of the attackers began shooting at an adjacent café, Horseed Managing Director Mahad M. Ahmed told CPJ.

Alerts   |   Somalia

Somaliland obstructs UK satellite station

New York, October 7, 2010--Authorities in Somaliland should immediately lift a suspension order imposed against the UK-based satellite broadcaster Universal TV, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The order bars the station's correspondents from reporting in the breakaway republic in northern Somalia, Khadar Mahamed, Universal TV senior newscaster and producer, told CPJ.

October 8, 2010 4:38 PM ET

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Blog   |   Somalia, South Africa

Somali journalist lives under threat, in fear in South Africa

Dasar (Clifford Derrick)

Violence has cut through the life of 28-year-old journalist Abdulahi Ibrahim Dasar, from his high school days in Kismayo, the third-largest city in Somalia, to his life as a refugee in South Africa. The turbulence of Dasar's life also explains his entry into journalism, a profession that has made him a target of assassination by hard-line Somali militants. 

Back in 2001 in Kismayo, Dasar had ambitious plans to become an entrepreneur, but bloodshed from local clan warfare forced his family to seek refuge in South Africa. In the peaceful suburbs of Cape Town, the familiar sound of bullets was gone at last. Very little knowledge of English and difficulty clicking the South African isiXhosa language spoken by the people of the Western Cape did not stop him from venturing into small-scale kiosk work selling groceries.

September 22, 2010 10:10 AM ET

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Blog   |   Kenya, Somalia

'A Somali journalist's life is short anyways'

A journalist films an insurgent in Somalia. (Mohammed Ibrahim)

In August, Shabelle Media Network, one of Somalia's leading independent broadcasters, did something incredibly brave--they rebroadcast news and music that the BBC's Somali-language service beams to the war-torn Horn of African nation in defiance of a ban imposed by hard-line militant Islamist rebel groups Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam. For Somali journalists, who risk death by crossfire and assassination, and censorship from both insurgents and the weak U.S.-backed transitional government, it was a courageous pushback against forces hostile to independent media.

Alerts   |   Somalia

In Puntland, radio journalist fatally stabbed

New York, September 1, 2010--Unknown assailants fatally stabbed radio journalist Abdullahi Omar Gedi in the Galkayo district of Puntland, a semi-autonomous region of Somalia, on Tuesday evening. Gedi, 25, had just left work at Radio Daljir when attackers stabbed him repeatedly and left him unconscious, the station's managing partner, Jama Abshir, told CPJ. Gedi died of his injuries in the General Hospital of Galkayo.

September 1, 2010 4:33 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Somali journalist killed in Mogadishu crossfire

SOMEPED New York, August 24, 2010--Veteran radio journalist Barkhat Awale, at left, was killed by crossfire today in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, according to local journalists and news reports. He is the second journalist killed on duty in Somalia this year, according to CPJ research.
    
Awale, 60, director of the community radio station Hurma Radio, was on the roof of the station assisting a technician in fixing the station's transmitter when a stray bullet hit him in the stomach, local journalists told CPJ. His colleagues rushed him to Madina Hospital, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
August 24, 2010 4:33 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Puntland editor jailed after airing rebel leader interview

New York, August 16, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland to immediately release jailed radio journalist Abdifatah Jama, who was sentenced on Saturday to six years in prison on charges related to an interview with Islamic rebel leader Sheikh Mohamed Said Atom.

August 16, 2010 4:10 PM ET

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Blog   |   Somalia

Somaliland elections and coverage surprisingly...normal

Voters at a Somaliland polling station on June 26. (Ahmed Kheyre)Critical voices in the East African media—whether in EthiopiaRwandaBurundi, or Uganda—have been intimidated, banned, blocked, and beaten prior to elections in recent years. Somalia is so embroiled in conflict that even the concept of having elections remains a faraway dream. But in late June, the semi-autonomous region of Somaliland in northern Somalia managed to hold relatively peaceful and free elections with decent media coverage, local journalists and election observers told CPJ.
July 7, 2010 5:29 PM ET

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Blog   |   Somalia

View from a Somali photojournalist's blood-stained lens

This photo was taken just before missiles landed on a press conference in Mogadishu on June 29. (Badri Media)

On Tuesday, several journalists were wounded when missiles were fired on a press conference in the battlefield of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. When the National Union of Somali Journalists broke news of the attack, I immediately checked in with local reporters. I obtained the phone number of photojournalist Ilyas Ahmed Abukar, expecting to speak to a frantic or traumatized man, but to my surprise, Abukar was alert, calm, and willing to share his personal account of what transpired. After a short conversation, he pledged to continue answering my questions via e-mail. Here is some of what he told me.

July 2, 2010 12:29 PM ET

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Reports   |   Ethiopia, Iran, Journalist Assistance, Mexico, Somalia

Journalists in Exile 2010

An exodus from Iran, East Africa

At least 85 journalists fled their home countries in the past year in the face of attacks, threats, and possible imprisonment. High exile rates are seen in Iran and in the East African nations of Somalia and Ethiopia. A CPJ Special Report by María Salazar-Ferro

Iranian photographer Mohammad Kheirkhan, left, documents protests in Tehran. Kheirkhan was forced into exile. (Payam Borazjani)

Reports   |   Journalist Assistance, Multimedia, Somalia

Video Report: From Captivity to Exile



In “From Captivity to Exile," Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout talks about the plight of Somali cameraman Mohamed Abdifatah Elmi. The two were abducted along with three others in 2008. Freed after many months, Elmi remains at risk and is now in exile. (3:59)

Read our accompanying special report, “Journalists in Exile 2010.” Please visit our Journalist Assistance program and see how you can help.

Blog   |   Somalia

Somali journalist Mustafa Haji Abdinur wins CNN award

SIMBAAt CPJ’s International Press Freedom Award ceremony in November 2009, Agence France-Presse's Somalia correspondent Mustafa Haji Abdinur—an award winner—pleaded with his audience: “Friends, if a journalist is killed the news is also killed. We need your support now more than ever. Please don’t forget us.” Abidnur, 28, has not been forgotten. We are excited to learn that on Saturday he won the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Award in the Free Press category.

Alerts   |   Cameroon, Somalia

Somali gunmen kill veteran broadcast reporter

New York, May 5, 2010—Three gunmen shot dead veteran broadcast journalist Sheik Nur Mohamed Abkey on Tuesday evening as he was returning home from work at the state-run Radio Mogadishu, local journalists told CPJ. Gunmen abducted Abkey, left, near his residence in Wardhigley, southern Mogadishu, and shot him repeatedly in the head. Local journalists said they suspect Abkey was tortured after finding his body dumped in an alleyway in Wardhigley.
May 5, 2010 4:33 PM ET

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Reports   |   Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

Getting Away With Murder

CPJ’s 2010 Impunity Index spotlights countries
where journalists are slain and killers go free



New York, April 20, 2010—Deadly, unpunished violence against the press has soared in the Philippines and Somalia, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found in its newly updated Impunity Index, a list of countries where journalists are killed regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes. Impunity in journalist murders also rose significantly in Russia and Mexico, two countries with long records of entrenched, anti-press violence.

Reports   |   Journalist Assistance, Somalia, Uganda

Special Report: A Somali Journalist in Exile

Radio journalist Ahmed Omar Hashi is a survivor, but he has paid dearly. He's been threatened and targeted for death. He's seen his colleagues and friends killed. Now, like other Somali journalists, Hashi struggles in exile and hopes one day he can resume his work. By Karen Phillips

Reports   |   Journalist Assistance, Multimedia, Somalia

Video Report: A Somali Journalist in Exile



In “A Somali Journalist in Exile,” CPJ talks with Ahmed Omar Hashi, a former editor for the independent Mogadishu station Radio Shabelle. After three attempts were made on Hashi’s life, CPJ and local partners helped him relocate to Uganda. Hashi talks about the many challenges in his new life in exile and his hopes to resume his work. (5:00)

Read our accompanying special report, “A Somali Journalist in Exile.” Please visit our Journalist Assistance program and see how you can help.
April 13, 2010 12:01 AM ET

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Blog   |   Journalist Assistance, Somalia

Exiled Somali journalists face new challenges in Nairobi

Gesey, left, and Jimale in their Nairobi apartment. (CPJ/Tom Rhodes)

Somali journalists Hassan Ali Gesey and Abdihakim Jimale are roommates these days, living in a tiny, graffiti-ridden room in Nairobi, Kenya. Neither would have wanted to eke out an existence like this, but dire circumstances brought them together—starting with the night three years ago that Gesey saved Jimale’s life.

Alerts   |   Somalia

Somali insurgents ban BBC

New York, April 9, 2010—Al-Shabaab insurgents in Somalia have banned all BBC broadcasts from the areas they control and confiscated the corporation’s FM transmitters and satellite dishes. Local journalists told CPJ that Al-Shabaab issued a statement today announcing the immediate ban, claiming the BBC carried the “agenda of the crusaders” and “opposed an Islamic administration.”
April 9, 2010 3:12 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Kenya, Somalia

African journalists face increasing risk for foreign outlets

Abdulle (CPJ)

“I didn’t wear the bulletproof jacket and helmet that Reuters gave me,” explained veteran Somali journalist Sahal Abdulle to a packed crowd at Nairobi’s Serena Hotel for CPJ’s launch of Attacks on the Press. “It didn’t seem right when my colleagues, local journalists, were risking their lives trying to cover the same event.” Abdulle, like all Somali journalists, faces immense challenges in covering the story in his war-ravaged country. According to this year’s findings in Attacks, nearly all the journalists killed in the line of duty in 2009 were local journalists—and nine of them were killed in Somalia.

February 16, 2010 5:32 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Rwanda, Somalia, Zimbabwe

In African hot spots, journalists forced into exile

Al-Shabaab militants patrol Mogadishu's Bakara Market, home to several media outlets. (Reuters/Feisal Omar)By Tom Rhodes

High numbers of local journalists have fled several African countries in recent years after being assaulted, threatened, or imprisoned, leaving a deep void in professional reporting. The starkest examples are in the Horn of Africa nations of Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, where dozens of journalists have been forced into exile. Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and the Gambia have also lost large segments of the local press corps in the face of intimidation and violence.

Attacks on the Press   |   Somalia

Attacks on the Press 2009: Somalia

Top Developments
• Al-Shabaab terrorizes media through violence, threats, censorship.
• Many local journalists flee into exile, leaving a void in coverage.

Key Statistic
9: Journalists killed in direct relation to their work in 2009.


Somalia was among the world’s deadliest countries in 2009, surpassing violent hot spots such as Iraq and Pakistan. As conflict continued between the weak Transitional Federal Government and multiple insurgent groups, nine journalists were killed in direct connection to their work, seven of them in the volatile capital, Mogadishu. An exodus of local journalists continued throughout the year, and few international journalists dared travel into the country for firsthand reporting, according to CPJ research. As a result, the amount and quality of news coverage of Somalia’s political and humanitarian crisis suffered greatly, CPJ found.

February 16, 2010 12:16 AM ET

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Blog   |   Somalia

A new mission for Somalia’s Mustafa Haji Abdinur

January 21 marks Press Day in Somalia, the most dangerous country in Africa to be a journalist. As such, few local journalists find much reason to celebrate. With nine Somali journalists killed in the line of duty last year, numerous local journalists have fled, especially from the restive capital, Mogadishu. “The free media is going to die out,” journalist Mustafa Haji Abdinur warned Ron Hill in an MSNBC interview last year after he received CPJ’s 2009 International Press Freedom Award.

January 21, 2010 3:55 PM ET

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Letters   |   Somalia

Press under fire in Puntland, CPJ tells leader

Dear Mr President: The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about deteriorating press freedom conditions in Puntland, including detentions, censorship, harassment, and direct attacks by police officers. Many of these disturbing attacks have targeted the U.S. government-funded Voice of America and one of its reporters, although several local reporters say they are seeing an overall pattern of harassment.

January 6, 2010 4:29 PM ET

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