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Somalia: A Journalist Wounded, another Beat up by Police in Mogadishu

By National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)
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MOGADISHU, Somalia, April 25, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is alarmed by the journalist slightly wounded by a stray bullet in Mogadishu on Tuesday evening around 6: 30PM local time, while the union condemns the police beat up of a journalist in Mogadishu on 23 April, 2012.

The editor of the privately owned SIMBA radio, Abdiasis Mohamed Diirie was hit by a stray bullet on the left leg below the knee and penetrated the muscle on Tuesday evening 24 April, 2012 around 6:30pm local time at the Bakaro market.

The incident happened shortly after he left the radio station heading his home, following a firefight in that neighborhood, according to Abdiasis Mohamed Diiriye who spoke with NUSOJ over the phone.

“I am in good health situation and currently staying at my home.”

Abdiasis Mohamed Diiriye told NUSOJ, “It is just a slight wound and I came home on my feet.”

In a separate incident, a policeman beat up Mohamed Abdiwahab Nor kown as (Abuja), Reporter for the privately Sahan Radio on Monday 23 April, 2012.

The incident happened when the journalist tried to enter a cafeteria at the Ministry of Women affairs – where journalists always gather and chat – amid the Anniversary of the Somali Military Day was taking place in the city and the security of the city was highly tightened.

“The policeman who was keeping guard at the area stopped me along with other journalists, I showed my Identity Card, but did not let us go, while he let other journalists enter the cafeteria.” Mohamed Abdiwahab Nor told NUSOJ, “He was singling us from other journalists, I don't know the reason.” He added.

“When I and my colleague journalist Ismail Haghi Omar left, he hit me at the back with back of his gun, I fell to the ground and he stood with his boot over my neck squeezing me on the ground, you see how my face has swollen.” Mr. Nor added.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemned the act and called for the Somalia Police Chief to take administrative measures against police personnel found such offenses to ensure that the journalists are respected and are allowed to carry out their duties.

“We acknowledge the extensive work the police are doing in restoring the security in Mogadishu, but it unfortunate we are getting troubles from the police and call for its immediate end.” Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, “I take this opportunity to call for investigations into the murder cases against the journalists, which none of the killers has been brought to court yet.”