2 June 2006
IFJ condemns assault on journalist by militias in Baidoa
(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:
IFJ Condemns the Inhumane Assault on a Journalist by militias in Baidoa (Somalia)
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) vigorously condemns the inhumane assault on Maryan Mohamud Qalanjo, a female journalist with the radio station, Radio Shabelle, by armed militias loyal to the Speaker of the Somali Parliament, Sharif Hasan Shaykh Adan, on 1 June 2006 in Baidoa (South-West Somalia).
"Maryan was removed from her hotel room forcibly and was hit several times and taken to Baidoa police station", declared the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).
The journalist was violently hit with butts of guns by militias of the Rahanweyn Resistance Army (RRA), who have power over the south-western regions of Bakool and Bay, because of interviews she made with some members of the Somali Parliament who were critical of the Speaker of the Somali Parliament.
"This is a hard-hearted and premeditated attack aimed to hurt Maryan bodily and her job" said Omar Faruk Osman, the Secretary General of NUSOJ.
Maryan Mohamud Qalanjo was detained at the police station for three hours and released by a decree of the Minister of the Interior of the Transitional Federal Government, Colonel Hassan Mohammed Nur, a decision which also bans her from working in Baidoa.
"In solidarity with our colleagues of NUSOJ, we vigorously condemn this inhumane attack on Ms Qalanjo," declared Gabriel Baglo, the Director of the IFJ Africa Office. "We urge the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia to conduct an investigation into this incident, bring those responsible to justice and lift the ban on the journalist's work by making it a limit if proved guilty".
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries.