NUSOJ Demands Safety Guarantees for Galkayo Journalists after Media Hit List Obtained
MOGADISHU, Somalia, March 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) today called on the authorities in Puntland and Galmudug to guarantee the safety of journalists named on a hit list that was found on an Al-Shabaab fighter.
Galmudug security forces recently arrested an Al-shabaab fighter by the name Abdihakim Hassan Hamud after he killed and wounded civilian people in northern Galkayo and found on him a list of Mudug region officials, journalists and business people he was supposed to assassinate. Galmugud handed Hamud to Puntland.
Hamud, who claimed to be from Eelbuur town in central Somalia, reportedly admitted to be an Al-shabaab member who was deployed to “kill number of people in Galkayo” according to colonel Mohamed Nur Ali, police commander in Galkayo.
Top on the Al-Shabaab's hit list was director of Radio Galkayo, Awil Mohamud Abdi, whom they planned to assassinate him on 3 March, according to the list discovered by the security forces, which was also admitted by the Al-Shabaab assassin. Abdi's picture was also found on Hamud. The apprehended Al-shabaab fighter had six other journalists on the hit list.
“Authorities in both southern and northern Galkayo must beef up the security and the protection of journalists in Galkayo. They can do that by guaranteeing the safety of all the journalists named in the list, protection for media houses in Galkayo and all other journalists in Mudug region,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.
When confronted at police station, Awil Mohamud Abdi was able to recognise Hamud to be following him in restaurants and public places. Abdi and the other six journalists left Galkayo to Garowe and Hargeisa for safety reasons.
On 2 August 2013, at around 23hrs local time, armed men followed Awil Mohamud Abdi from Radio Galkayo. 5 minutes later when Abdi arrived his house and put on the light in his bedroom, seven bullets slammed into the bedroom window near where he had been standing. Awil threw himself to the ground. Holes in his bedroom wall and bullets on the floor were found. Abdi was unharmed.