The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) denounces the increasing violations against the press in the town of Baidoa, after angry demonstrators attacked a Television journalist and beat him seriously in the town of Baidoa on Monday 31 March, 2014, the latest in string of attacks against the journalists in Somalia.
The town of Baidoa become an increasing hostile environment for the journalists following the announcement of the two opposing regional states claiming from three to six regions. The journalists increasingly become target for the supporters of the opposing administrations.
Demonstrators opposing the formation of three member regional state attacked Ali Ilyas Abdullahi, the regional correspondent of Horncable Television covering Bay and Bakool regions, on Monday morning 31 March 2014, around 10:00am after leaving his office for work. Mr. Abdullahi has been receiving serious phone call threats including death threats, after he filed story on the formation of the three region member state, according to Ali Ilyas who spoke with NUSOJ. Mr. Abdullahi also reports for Warsan Radio, based in Baidoa.
“The region is posing threats against the journalists.” Ali Ilyas Abdullahi, Horncable reporter in Baidoa said via phone interview, “We are being threatened, censored following the divisions among the people in the region.”
Mr. Abdullahi believes the mob was targeting him for his report on formation of the three member regional state.
The National Union of Somali Journalists condemns such press freedom violations and alarming conditions of the journalists in Baidoa, where the journalists are subject to forced reporting, censorship, arbitrary arrests and phone call threats and calls for the Federal government of Somalia to ensure the security of the journalists in the region and create an environment where journalists can exercise their granted freedoms.
“We are alarmed by the level of the risk our colleagues reporting from Baidoa are facing which completely undermines the freedom of the press.” Mohamed Ibrahim, Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists said, “We call upon the regional administration of Bay region under the Federal government of Somalia to provide journalists full protection and create an environment where they can exercise freely.”
“Such conditions are unacceptable and should be put to a stop.” Mr. Ibrahim added.
On January 09, 2014, Police in the town of Baidoa of the Bay region arrested Abdi Nor Mayow, the correspondent of Kulmiye radio, after he filed story interview of elders opposing the formation of six (6) member regional state, outside the ADC center – the former seat of the Transitional federal parliament – where a conference to build a regional state was going on for past several weeks. He was released after spending 8 hours in prison.