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NUSOJ Condemns Violent Attack on Journalists in Hiiraan

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The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is horrified and saddened by the events in Hiiraan region where two journalists were attacked and sustained grave injuries on 27 Jun 2022.

Abdikarin Mohamed Siad, popularly known as Shabellow, a reporter for Hirshabelle State TV in Beledweyne and Khalid Mohamud Osman, aka Ilkase, who director for Hirshabelle TV in Hiiraan, were on assignment covering ongoing operations when the vehicle they were travelling in was hit by a suspected landmine, inflicting serious injuries on the two journalists and officials of the regional administration who were also occupants of the vehicle.

“As we wish our colleagues a quick recovery, we deplore this senseless and unprovoked attack on a civilian target which put journalists on duty in harm’s way. Journalists are neutral actors only serving the public interest and attacking them is an assault on the public’s right to know,” NUSOJ Secretary General, Omar Faruk Osman, said in reaction to the news of the attacks.  

According to available information, the victims were reportedly driving in a convoy of the governor of the Hiiraan region and other officials as they conducted security operations in the Qabno areas of Mataban district.

The explosive device specifically exploded under the vehicle carrying the journalists but it was not immediately clear if they were the specific target. This was the fourth attack on journalists this year in Hirshabelle and highlights the risks Somali journalists have to endure to bring the truth to the public.

The incident should also be a reminder of the dangers journalists face while on duty and the need for employers to facilitate and provide their teams with independent means of transport that are clearly branded to show they carry media workers.

“While we understand the constraints and unique circumstances that forced our colleagues to travel with government officials, this incident reminds of the need for journalists to always have independent transport that clearly identifies them as media,” Osman added.