IFJ Condemns Escalation of Violence against Journalists in Somalia

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the violent knife attack on Hassan  Bulhan Ali,  Director of Radio Abudwaq station in Central Somalia, who was stabbed

five times on Saturday and is in a critical condition.

"We are concerned

about the escalation of violence against journalists in Somalia," said Gabriel Baglo,

Director of the IFJ Africa Office. "The situation is simply unacceptable and

the government must make it a priority to ensure that those who perpetrated

these crimes are arrested and brought to justice in order to prevent more attacks."

According to the

National union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), IFJ affiliate, Hassan Bulhan Ali was attacked by

a man wielding a knife who stabbed him five times during a tribal

reconciliation meeting in Abudwaq, on Saturday, February 6, 2009.  The attacker, who fled the scene shortly

after the incident, accused Bulhan of filing biased reports against his clan.

Bulhan is said to

be in a very critical condition in Galkayo hospital.

The IFJ calls on

the new Somali Government to work with the clans leaders to do everything

possible in order to apprehend the attacker and to ensure that he is brought to

justice. The Somali government must take drastic measures to deter attacks on journalists

who are victims of violence committed by criminal groups bent on stifling open

debate and the development of independent journalism in Somalia. 

Last week, Said

Tahliil Ahmed, Director of the HornAfrik radio and television station in the

Somali Capital Mogadishu was gunned down in the Bakare market.

The IFJ supports

the NUSOJ's call for the establishment of accountability and rule of law in Somalia

to remove impunity for perpetrators of attacks on journalists.

For more

information contact the IFJ at + 221 33 867 95 87


The IFJ represents over 600,000

journalists in 123 countries worldwide