On International Day to End Impunity (2 November), ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa is calling on Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, to end the cycle of impunity for attacks on those who exercise their right to free speech.
We are highlighting the case of Mascuud Abdulahi Aadan, a correspondent for the Mogadishu-based Dalsan Radio. Mascuud and Mohamed Farah Sahal, a correspondent for the Mogadishu-based Goobjoog radio, were both attacked on 17 July 2013 by the Raaskambooni militia as they were returning from an assignment in Kismayu. The journalists had gone to report on a landmine attack on the Africa Union Mission in Somalia in Calanley.
The journalists were immediately rushed to the Medina Hospital but Mascuud required a delicate operation that could not be carried out at Medina hospital. With the assistance of ARTICLE 19, Mascuud was airlifted to Nairobi for further specialised treatment. He successfully underwent surgery and the bullets were removed. In December 2013, about six months after the shooting, Mascuud returned to Somalia. Despite Mascuud’s impressive recovery, the people who attacked him and Mohammed have never been arrested and held accountable. The circumstances remain unchanged and he lives in fear of being attacked again.
Henry Maina, Regional Director of ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa said:
“The impact of impunity has a far reaching chilling effect on freedom of expression across the world. Attacks against all types of journalists, human rights defenders and media workers are rarely investigated, let alone punished, and this results in self-censorship, stopping journalists criticising governments, or investigating issues such as corruption and human rights violations.
As well as dealing with murder, many of the cases we come across detail constant levels of harassment, threats, office break-ins and arbitrary arrests, which also have a chilling effect.
The problem isn’t just the pitiful rate of successful convictions for such crimes, but also a lack of thorough and effective investigations. We are calling for thorough and conclusive investigations to the attack against Mascuud and Mohamed.
We are also calling on the Government of The Federal Republic of Somalia to adopt all necessary political and legal measures to protect journalists and human rights defenders and defend the right to freedom of expression, in accordance with their international obligations.”
For further information contact: Henry Maina, Director of ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa, via email at [email protected] or call on +254 727 862330.