NUSOJ Somalia Office Robbed
April 30, 2011
The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) office in Mogadishu, Somalia was robbed last week when four men and two accomplices claimed they were National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) staff to gain entry. The men took union documents and four computers before escaping in a Toyota pickup truck. The men threatened the security guard with death if he told anyone about the attack. They later returned to the office and threatened three NUSOJ officials investigating the robbery.
Somali journalists have faced threats in the last few months, and many have left the country as a result. In early May, Saxafi newspaper staffer Abdifatah Mohamud Aidid was fined for defamation after claiming a donation was mishandled by the government in a December 2010 article. In early April, journalist Jabir Ali Omar from boramanews.com and journalist Dahir Ahmed Jirde from saylac.com were arrested but not formally charged after doing news reports on leaflets that called for citizens to support a region under the Somaliland administration. In late March, a mortar hit the Xog-Ogaal daily newspaper, the only private newspaper in Somalia. The same week, a journalist was shot in the back and shoulder when reporting on a soccer match at the Jamacada Stadium.
Freedom House stands in solidarity with the International Federation of Journalists and their Somalia affiliate, NUSOJ and urges authorities to conduct a thorough investigation to find the assailants. Freedom House commends Somali journalists for continuing to do critical reporting in such a dangerous climate and urges the Somali government to implement journalist protections.