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HornAfrik radio and television station attacked by armed militia

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is a 17 January 2003 IFJ letter of support to the HornAfrik radio and television station:

Ahmed Abidsalam Adan
HornAfrik Media Inc.
E-mail [email protected] or [email protected]
Fax: +25 21 21 77 78

Brussels January 17, 2003

The International Federation of Journalists, the global organisation representing over 500,000 journalists, condemns the attack on Somali radio and television station HornAfrik by armed militia, acting on orders of a businessman who was offended by a news report about a book mentioning connections between Somali businessmen and terrorism.

According to our information, the militia forced the technicians and journalists to shut down the broadcast and leave the premises. They remained for several hours, and the station could only be reopened after negotiations.

We are happy to learn that none of the staff was harmed, and that the situation was resolved peacefully. However, we have been informed that the station continues to be under threat from the government, and that the attack last week might be part of a campaign to shut down HornAfrik.

The IFJ condemns the attack as unacceptable, and calls on the authorities in Somalia to take measures to ensure press freedom in the country and the safety of all journalists.

The international community of journalists extends its support to our colleagues in Somalia, and congratulates them for being able to continue to carry out their profession, despite difficult circumstances, in a climate where so little respect is shown for the right of media to report.

With Kind Regards,

General Secretary

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Similar letters of support can be sent to:

Ahmed Abidsalam Adan
HornAfrik Media Inc.
Fax: +25 21 21 77 78
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]

Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

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