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article imageSomali Journalists Leaving War Torn Nation

By Christopher Szabo     Jun 11, 2009 in World
Journalists are facing extreme danger in Somalia. At least five Somali journalists have been killed in the country this year already, with some independent media closing down due to lack of staff.
Hamdi Kadiye, executive member of the National Union of Somali Journalists, (NUJOS) told the IRIN news agency:
We are in a very difficult and dangerous situation. We are being forced to choose between reporting on what is happening and our lives.
The situation has been made even worse by the killing at the weekend of Radio Shabelle director Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe. Hamdi added:
All we do is cover the story. We don't side with any group, but the fighting groups want to silence us to make sure no one hears or sees the suffering they are causing.
According to Ali Sheikh Yassin, deputy chairman of the Mogadishu-based Elman Human Rights Organisation (EHRO) journalists were facing:
More danger now than at any time in the past. We get reports of journalists getting anonymous calls and SMSs threatening them.
Yassin expressed concern that the exodus of journalists could end what was left of journalism in Somalia:
Unfortunately, many of the radio stations and even the TV stations will close for lack of staff. There is a real danger that the independent media will be no more.
Others expressed fears that once the media were no more, no-one would remain to chronicle the crimes being committed in Somalia.
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