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January 05-11, 2015

Media Monitoring Report for Somalia
Posted on January 12, 2015

Compiled by Laura Metcalfe

1) Tough start to 2015 for Somali Journalists

Court Hearing Adjourns After Journalists’ Lawyers Failed to Show Up
Dalsan Radio, January 5th

  • The Benadir regional court adjourned the hearing of Shabelle and Sky FM journalists after the defendant’s lawyers failed to show up.
  • The NUSOJ called the adjournment disappointing, as two of the men have now been in jail for more than four months.
  • The radio stations were raided by government forces on August 15th; two other journalists who had been detained were released on bail on October 21st.

Tough NEW YEAR for Somali Media
Dalsan Radio, January 6

  • The Somali Independent Media Houses Association is concerned about the increasing crackdown by the federal government on the country’s media.
  • On January 5th, Shabelle and Sky FM journalists appeared before the court but their hearing was postponed due to the absence of their lawyer.
  • On January 4th, two journalists were arrested while following up on a story about an explosion in Mogadishu. They were later released without an explanation for their detention.
  • On January 3rd, authorities closed down Radio Risaala and arrested two journalists for covering an unconfirmed case of Ebola.
  • The chairman of the Somali Independent Media Houses Association has called on the government to respect the freedom of the media and release detained journalists.

2) Al Shabaab launches attack in Bossaso

Gunmen Attack Bossaso Central Police Station
Raxanreeb, January 11th

  • Unknown assailants have attacked the Bossaso police station in the provincial capital of the Bari.  The men hurled hand grenades into the building, injuring three police officers and one civilian before escaping the scene.  The local Bari administration has not commented on the attack. Puntland’s commercial town of Bossaso has been relatively safe and secure during the two decade civil war in Somalia

Al Shabaab Claims Credit for Bossaso Grenade Attack
Garowe Online, January 11th

  • Somalia’s Al Shabaab group has claimed credit for a grenade attack on a police compound in Bossaso.
  • An Al Shabaab spokesperson said militants from the terrorist group hurled hand grenades at the police station, wounding four soldiers.
  • Security officials confirmed that two soldiers and a civilians sustained minor injuries.
  • AS also claimed responsibility for an IED explosion that left two intelligence officers dead in Kismayo.
  • Puntland Defence Forces are battling AS fighters in Galgala and along the Golis Mountain range. 6

3) Al Shabaab executes civilians for espionage

Somalia’s Shabaab Claims to Execute 7 “Agents”
Kismaayo.com, January 10th

  • Somalia’s Al-Shabaab militant group has executed seven civilians who it accused of spying in three parts of the country, according to government officials.
  • All 7 were killed in public by firing squad over a period of 24 hours.
  • The dead were accused of spying for the US, Ethiopia, Djiboutian, and the Somali Military.
  • AS has recently suffered several major blows, losing most of its strongholds in the Southern and Central parts of the country, and a number of leaders to US drone attacks.

Al Shabab Execute Four in Somalia After Alleging of Spying
Raxanreeb, January 7

  • Islamist militants have executed four Somalis after accusing them of spying for the US and the Somali federal government.
  • The four men were executed by firing squad in Bardhere, the capital of the Gedo region.
  • This came after senior AS members were killed in a planned attack by the Kenyan and Somali government.
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