His Excellency Dr. Elmi Ahmed Duale
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary/Permanent
Representative of Somalia to the United Nations
425 East 61st Street, Suite 702
New York, New York, United States, 10065
October 6, 2011
I am writing on behalf of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect press freedom and freedom of expression around the world.
CJFE is deeply concerned about the recent assault of radio presenter and journalist Hassan Mohamed, more commonly known as Anteno. On September 22, 2011, he sustained injury after two individuals armed with pistols shot him outside his workplace. Mohamed works for Radio Voice of Peace and belongs to a growing community of independent media producers in the country.
CJFE agrees with the comments of the National Union of Somalia Journalists (NUSOJ), which describes this attack as barbaric and cruel. We further agree that the harassment and attempted murder of Hassan Mohamed is an attempt to silence independent media in Somalia, particularly in the Puntland region, where Radio Voice of Peace broadcasts.
Reporters Without Borders has documented at least eight attacks on press freedom in the last two months, ranging from arbitrary arrests to shootings, with very few investigations or charges sought despite the seriousness of these crimes. This incident adds to a growing list of attacks on freedom of expression and freedom of information, some of which have been endorsed or encouraged by government officials.
The transitional federal government must work to uphold the right to free expression in Somalia by condemning and investigating attacks on journalists.
We thank you for your attention and I look forward to your reply.
Arnold Amber, CJFE President
Cc: Mr. David Collins, High Commissioner to Kenya;
The Honourable John Baird, P.C., M.P., Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs