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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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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