Somalia: journalists' union harassed by gunmen

Amid all the fuss in Britain about whether journalists can report on footballers' sex lives, a reminder that in some parts of the world, superinjunctions are the last thing reporters worry about.

The head office of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) recently received a visit from six men, four armed with AK-47 guns. They took documents and computers before escaping in a Toyota pickup. The security guard was ordered not to talk any one about of the attack at the risk of losing his life.  

On Monday, two gunmen came back to the offices of the union and threatened three NUSOJ officials who had gone to investigate the robbery. The gunmen warned that anyone who comes to the offices of the union would be killed. "Anyone who does not like his life, let him come here and we will step on his dead body," said one gunman.

The three union officials were also told they risked their life if they continue to represent the union and its leadership in Somalia.

The IFJ is concerned about consistent politicised actions against NUSOJ members and its leadership to thwart them from carrying out their legitimate activities which is a clear violation of their right to freedom of association and freedom of expression.

“These actions are the latest in a series of persistent violations against the journalists union, its members and leaders that have continued in the past two months to deny journalists their right to freedom of association and expression,” said Beth Costa, General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

"The Transitional Federal Government has the primary responsibility to guarantee the security of journalists, including NUSOJ leaders and its members in the areas under its control. The need to investigate the raid on the union's office and bring the robbers to justice," declared Costa.

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
View latest posts