IFJ Condemns Intimidation of Journalists' Leader in Somalia

The International Federation of Journalists today called for action in Somalia to counter a "wave of terror" in the capital Mogadishu where a journalists' leader is in hiding fearing for his life.

Omar Faruk Osman, an internet journalist based in Mogadishu, is currently under threat from security police staff of the transitional government. "He is the latest victim in a wave of terror against journalists and civil rights activists that has reduced Mogadishu to a state of lawlessness," said Aidan White IFJ General Secretary. The IFJ says social activists are harassed, killed, arrested, threatened, tortured and kidnapped by militia demanding money. Omar Faruk, 27, was informed that he is being sought by the police on the orders of senior officials within the transition government. He was also sought at the office of Somali Journalists Network (SOJON) where he is the Secretary General. Omar is now in hiding.

Four gunmen tried to arrest him at the head office of Xidigta Xamar daily newspaper which they entered three times on 16th of April.

The IFJ is supporting the protests of the Somali Journalists Network over violations of press freedom and the hounding of Omar Faruk Osman. "This journalist is being victimized because of his role as a journalists' leader and his independent journalism. We shall do everything we can to support him," said the IFJ.