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