HRJ express concern over the increasing intimidations and press freedom violations in Somalia

On Tuesday night 18 September, Abdirisak Said Osman of Radio Codka Nabada (Voice of Peace) was attacked by unknown assailants with daggers as he left the radio station after 23:00 PM and stabbed him several times on the back and chest. Pedestrians found the bleeding journalist lying on the ground and took him to Galkaio hospital where Osman died on Wednesday morning September 19. The motive of the murder is not known and no arrest has yet been made.

Abdirisak is the second journalist killed in Somalia this year. On 26 July, a 20 years old TV journalist Abdirisak Qasim of SBS TV was shot dead by a policeman at a security checkpoint in Mogadishu. The policeman that carried out the attack went escort free and to date the case of Abdirisak remains unsolved.

On 22 Sept, a TV journalist Mohamed Abdiwali Tohow of Universal TV was arrested in Dhusomareb town, the capital city of Galmudug State. Mr. Tohow received a telephone call from a security officer who told him to call at the HQ of Galmudug Intelligence and Security Agency in Dhusomareb town and he was arrested upon his arrival at the HQ.

The reason for the arrest is not clear and Galmudug Intelligence and Security Agency refused to comment on it but Galmudug Intelligence and Security Agency is a notorious entity that routinely violates press freedom and freedom of expression in the areas under the control of Galmudug authorities.

Finally, a radio journalist was severely injured in Galkaio town on Sunday Sept 23, when a policeman hurled stones at a group of journalists who turned up at the main entrance of  Galkaio Police Department. The journalists were invited by the deputy commander of Galkaio Police Department of Puntland Mohamed Ali for press conference on the security of the town.  One of the stones thrown by the angry policeman hit Mohamed Ali Siyad, the deputy director of Radio Gaalkacyo leaving him a terribly bleeding wound on his face. Mr. Siyad was immediately taken to hospital to dress and stitch the injuries he sustained from the vicious attack by the policeman.

HRJ representative in Galkaio town Mohamed Saed reports that the policeman behind the attack against journalists at Galkaio Police Department was not arrested. We urge Puntland State authorities to take an immediate action to bring those responsible for the murder and intimidations of journalists to justice.