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Sep-26-2010 14:10printcomments

Somalia: Independent Media Targeted

Al-Shabaab and Hizb-Al-Islam are both on the RSF list of “Predators of Press Freedom”.

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Reporters Without Borders (RSF) together with The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the assault by Islamist militias on two radio stations in Mogadishu.

“Taking over the ownership and control of independent radio stations by force and putting the owners and the journalists in a state of panic, risk and fear is a criminal act that cannot be condoned. This is unacceptable and amounts to the highest degree of media freedom violation,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ secretary-general. “This is a desperate and dangerous act to silence private media by militants”.

Independent broadcasting station, Global Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) was taken over by Hizb-Al-Islam Saturday evening. Heavily armed militia forced their way into the headquarters of GBC radio, taking over broadcasting and dispersing propaganda over the airways.

Armed militia members of Al-Shabaab broke into Radio HornAfriq, this weekend, effectively ransacking and looting the building, they chased journalists out before destroying cassettes and CD’s.

According to the transitional government in Mogadishu, five radio stations have been attacked or forcibly taken over by Islamist rebels. These raids highlight the difficulties and dangers for journalists working in this war zone. They have become priority targets, control of their media has become the objective for various warring parties.

RSF is urging the international community to consider ways to protect the journalists and independent media. The latest evolution in the fighting is disturbing; increased kidnapping of journalists and the violent targeting of broadcasting stations suggests that Al-Shabaab and Hizb-Al-Islam are focused on stopping the work of all the independent media.

“Such attacks are a complete violation of international law governing actions in wartime. We urge the belligerents to spare innocent civilians and journalists, who are particularly exposed.” RSF told

Al-Shabaab and Hizb-Al-Islam are both on the RSF list of “Predators of Press Freedom” (,37330.html).

Source: Reporters without Borders
National Union of Somali Journalists

Alysha Atma spends many hours working on projects that support and benefit the beleaguered people of African nations who spend way too much time off the western media's radar. This writer explains that she is a culmination of all her experiences, most importantly knowledge she says, and all that she still needs to learn; lessons of love, laughter and the extraordinary giving of both young and old. She says she has the enormous fortune of learning from the best; every person around her, and the amazing strength and fortitude of those she has never met but will always strive to listen to. "I continue to work and write because I believe in the power of community and the power of one, both contradictory to each other and yet can move together in a very powerful way. I feel a responsibility to use my place, freedoms and connections here in the US to stand up and yell for those who need my voice and actions. I have seen such strength in my fellow humans that I cannot even begin to comprehend, they have traveled distances, have gone without food, water, shelter and safety for days and weeks at a time. I have a responsibility as a fellow human to put our common humanity before anything else. Everyone deserves to look towards tomorrow, to dream of a safe future and to have a peaceful present." You can write to Alysha Atma at:

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