Somalia

2011


Alerts   |   Somalia

Somali government should probe journalist's murder

Somali journalists carry the body of Abdisalan Sheikh Hassan. (AFP/Mohamed Abdiwahab)

New York, December 19, 2011--Somali authorities must pursue all leads in investigating the murder on Sunday of a broadcast journalist who had reported receiving several recent threats. A gunman in a military uniform shot freelance reporter Abdisalan Sheikh Hassan, according to local and international reports.

Blog   |   CPJ, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Journalist Assistance, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda

In Nairobi, plans to improve aid to exiled journalists

Kassahun Yilma left Ethiopia quickly in December 2009. He didn't have time to save money for the journey, choose a place to go, arrange housing or a job. He left his wife, his mother, his house and all his friends behind. Yilma didn't know what lay ahead. He only knew that if he stayed, he risked becoming a victim of a government-waged campaign against Addis Neger, the newspaper where he worked as a reporter.  "I ran away just to save my life," says Yilma, "because I was in fear for it."

December 16, 2011 10:25 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Invoking security, Puntland bans two TV stations

Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Faroole
lambasted the media for undermining national security. (AFP)

New York, November 2, 2011--Authorities in northern Somalia banned two private broadcasters from operating in Puntland Tuesday, blaming independent media coverage for undermining national security as they grapple with potentially destabilizing violence in the region, according to local journalists and news reports.

The Information Ministry in semi-autonomous Puntland banned the local operations of Universal TV and Somali Channel TV, accusing the stations of "working with the peace haters who are always against the Puntland security," according to CPJ's translation of the directive.

Alerts   |   Somalia

Puntland radio station hit by grenade attack

Radio Galkayo was damaged in a grenade attack. (Raxanreeb)

New York, October 19, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Tuesday's grenade attack on a Puntland radio station and calls for authorities to take immediate steps to identify and prosecute the perpetrators. This was the third local radio station hit with a blast in three months, CPJ research showed.

On Tuesday evening, a grenade was hurled into the studios of Radio Galkayo, a community radio station covering local news and current affairs based in the city of Galkayo in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland. The blast destroyed the back wall and a window to the office of Managing Director Abdullahi Hersi, local reports said. No one was hurt in the attack, but the station's staff was working in fear, the reports said. In January 2010, Radio Galkayo was damaged by a grenade that destroyed one studio and a roof, local journalists said.

October 19, 2011 2:30 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

AU forces say four soldiers responsible for journalist's death

Noramfaizul Mohd, hours before he was killed. (Bernama)

New York, September 26, 2011--Four African Union soldiers deployed in Somalia have been suspended and returned to their home country of Burundi for potential trial after an internal investigation found them responsible for the shooting death of a Malaysian journalist this month. In a statement issued today, the African Union Mission in Somalia, or AMISOM, apologized for the shooting, which injured a second Malaysian journalist.

The troops fired on a Malaysian humanitarian aid convoy traveling to its base at the Mogadishu airport, according to witnesses cited in international news reports. Killed in the September 2 gunfire was Noramfaizul Mohd, 39, a cameraman for Malaysia's national Bernama TV who was accompanying the humanitarian mission. Aji Saregar, 27, a camera operator for Malaysia's TV3, was struck in the right hand by gunfire.

September 26, 2011 6:24 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Attackers shoot journalist in Somalia

Horriyo Abdulkadir Sheik Ali (NUSOJ)

New York, September 15, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Wednesday evening shooting of a Somali radio journalist in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, and calls on the government to immediately take steps to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Unknown gunmen shot 20-year-old radio journalist Horriyo Abdulkadir Sheik Ali four times on Wednesday evening as she left her office at Radio Galkayo, the state broadcaster in the Garsoor neighborhood of Galkayo, local journalists told CPJ. She was hospitalized in stable condition with wounds to the stomach, chest, and right hand, news reports said.

September 15, 2011 5:22 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Journalists continue to be targeted in Somaliland

Waheen reporter Saleban Abdi Ali was harassed by Special Protection Unit officers. (NUSOJ)

New York, September 12, 2011--Authorities in the semi-autonomous republic of Somaliland are obstructing independent journalists from covering government politics, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Four reporters have been harassed and arrested while on assignment since early September.

Alerts   |   Malaysia, Somalia

AU must act after journalist is killed in Somalia

Malaysian cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd is the 35th journalist killed in direct relation to his work in Somalia. (Bernama)

New York, September 5, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the African Union to ensure the safety of civilians operating in Somalia after witnesses reported that AU forces fired on a Malaysian humanitarian convoy in Mogadishu on Friday, killing one journalist and injuring another. Calling the shootings "deeply regrettable," the African Union Mission in Somalia said in a statement that it has undertaken an investigation and would publicize its findings.

September 5, 2011 10:13 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Grenade attack damages Puntland radio station

The front of private radio station Radio Daljir was damaged in a grenade attack on Friday. (Radio Daljir)
New York, August 29, 2011--Authorities in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland should conduct a thorough investigation into a grenade attack against a private radio station that left a security guard injured and the station damaged, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

"This is the second attack on Radio Daljir," said CPJ East Africa Coordinator Tom Rhodes. "We call on the authorities to do their utmost to see that the perpetrators of this attack are brought to justice so that Puntland sends a message that intimidation and violence against the media will not go unpunished."
August 29, 2011 4:35 PM ET

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Blog   |   Somalia

Evacuating Somali reporters who face unrelenting violence

Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe was killed in 2009. (NUSOJ)

Somalia was among the world's deadliest countries for journalists in 2009, the year I began working with CPJ's Journalist Assistance program. On June 7, two gunmen shot Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe and Ahmed Omar Hashi, the director and news editor of the country's leading independent station, Radio Shabelle. Hirabe died at the scene. Hashi barely survived and was hospitalized with wounds to the abdomen and right hand.

Alerts   |   Somalia

Radio Simba staffer shot outside his studio in Somalia

New York, August 5, 2011--The logistics manager and driver for Radio Simba, Farah Hassan Sahal, died from bullet wounds early Thursday evening just outside the station's compound in the restive Bakara Market in the capital, Mogadishu, Radio Simba Director Abdullahi Ali Farah told CPJ. Hassan was helping the station move damaged radio equipment when a sniper shot him three times, Farah said. Hassan, 45, is survived by his wife and eight children, he said.

August 5, 2011 2:55 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Puntland frees jailed Somali journalist

New York, August 1, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the decision by authorities in Puntland, Somalia's northeastern semiautonomous region, to set free reporter Faysal Mohamed Hassan on Sunday. Mohamed, who wrote for the private news site Hiiraan Online, was serving a prison sentence over a story claiming that two murdered men belonged to Puntland's security personnel.

August 1, 2011 4:51 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Puntland authorities arrest online journalist

(MAP)

New York, June 30, 2011--Police arrested Faysal Mohamed, at left, a reporter for the Hiiraan Online website Wednesday morning in the port town of Bossasso in the semi-autonomous republic of Puntland, local journalists told CPJ. No official charges have been brought against him, although the deputy commander of the Bossasso District Police told journalists that Mohamed was arrested for publishing a "false news report" on Hiiraan Online. He is currently being held in the Bossasso Central Police Station. 

June 30, 2011 5:03 PM ET

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Reports   |   Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Journalist Assistance, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria

Journalists in exile 2011: Iran, Cuba drive out critics

Two of the world’s most repressive nations each forced at least 18 journalists to flee their homes in the past year. In exile, these journalists face enormous challenges. A CPJ special report by Elisabeth Witchel.

Newly freed Cuban detainees and their families in a bus after their arrival in Madrid. Exile was the price the detainees paid for their freedom. (AP/Victor R. Caivano)

Blog   |   Ethiopia, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda

The Internet in East Africa: An aid or a weapon?

In Johannesburg. (CPJ)

Frank Nyakairu has seen it all. A veteran war reporter, he has covered the horrors of northern Uganda and Somalia, among others places. And throughout this time of rich but often appalling experiences, he has also seen the auspicious--and sometimes terrifying--impact the Internet has had on East African reporters. 

Nyakairu spoke at a recent workshop held in Johannesburg, South Africa, co-organized by Global Voices, Google Africa, and CPJ. Attendees at the conference comprised some of the most active African bloggers and online reporters on the continent who came to learn how to sharpen their online reporting skills while avoiding the censors. 

Alerts   |   Somalia

Somali journalists arrested for covering protests

Somali protesters march in Mogadishu, taking to the streets for a second day. (AP/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

New York, June 14, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a growing number of detentions by the Somali government's security forces against journalists covering weeklong protests in the KM4 area of the capital, Mogadishu. On Monday morning, security agents arrested 20-year-old reporter Mohamed Amin, of the privately owned Radio Kulmiye. He had been covering ongoing protests that started last Friday. These protests had erupted in Mogadishu following the announcement to ouster the popular prime minister, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, Radio Kulmiye Deputy Director Mohamed Odowa told CPJ. 

Blog   |   Somalia

Exiled Somali journalists rally around wounded colleague

Colleagues gather to support Hassan. (CPJ)

Hassan Mohamed, nicknamed "Jaeyl" by his colleagues, used to be a jack-of-all-trades for Somalia's first independent broadcaster, HornAfrik. He was a journalist, a producer, and a librarian. He was even a dramatist. His most powerful professional role was keeping HornAfrik running when most senior staff members fled the country, fearing for their lives.

May 24, 2011 4:40 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Somalia arrests 2 Shabelle staffers over insecurity report

New York, March 28, 2011--Security agents with Somalia's Interim Transitional Government arrested the director and news editor of Radio Shabelle on Sunday after the independent station aired a report saying the president was unable to visit areas recently captured by government and AU forces due to security concerns, according to news reports and CPJ interviews. The Ministry of Information deemed the March 22 report "factually incorrect and aiding the terrorists." 

March 28, 2011 3:07 PM ET

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Blog   |   Kenya, Somalia

A Somali journalist still gets taunting threats in exile

Abdi has been targeted from Somalia to Kenya. (CPJ)

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. 

March 25, 2011 4:59 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Attacks on the Press 2010: Africa Analysis

Across Continent, Governments Criminalize
Investigative Reporting

Ivory Coast's President and 2010 presidential candidate Laurent Gbagbo talks to the press. (AFP Photo/Issouf Sanogo)

By Mohamed Keita

Across the continent, the emergence of in-depth reporting and the absence of effective access-to-information laws have set a collision course in which public officials, intent on shielding their activities, are moving aggressively to unmask confidential sources, criminalize the possession of government documents, and retaliate against probing journalists. From Cameroon to Kenya, South Africa to Senegal, government reprisals have resulted in imprisonments, violence, threats, and legal harassment. At least two suspicious deaths--one involving an editor, the other a confidential source--have been reported in the midst of government reprisals against probing news coverage.

Attacks on the Press   |   Somalia

Attacks on the Press 2010: Somalia

Top Developments
• Africa's most dangerous country for the press. Two journalists killed in 2010.
• Al-Shabaab shuts downs, seizes control of major radio stations.

Key Statistic
59: Somali journalists in exile, the second largest press diaspora in the world. Ethiopians constitute the largest.

Somalia remained Africa's most dangerous country for the press. Two journalists were killed during the year in direct relation to their work, bringing the death toll to 23 since 2005. The conflict between Islamic insurgent groups and a weak Transitional Federal Government backed by African Union troops continued to fuel a steady exodus of journalists seeking to escape deadly violence, severe censorship, and harassment. CPJ's 2010 analysis of exiled journalists, published in June, found that at least 16 journalists had fled the country in the prior 12 months, with 59 having gone into exile over the past decade. Remaining journalists practiced extreme self-censorship to survive.

February 15, 2011 12:16 AM ET
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