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Two broadcast journalists badly beaten by militiamen

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ has expressed its alarm over aggressive attacks against two broadcast journalists in southwestern Somalia.

Mr Omar Abdirahman Mohamoud (Jaajaa) and Ms Sahra Ali Mohamoud, who work for privately owned Markabley Radio as a reporter and newscaster, respectively, were seriously beaten on the evening of 11 June 2009 by four masked Al-Shabab militiamen soon after they left the station, according to the journalists in Bardhere. The two journalists ran on foot in an attempt to escape their attackers, but were chased and beaten severely with baseball bats. They were able to evade their attackers and are now hiding in the town.

According to journalists in Bardhere, during the beatings the militia attackers were overheard saying: "These are bad guys, so called journalists, we have to take action." After the attacks the militias went on to say: "The other journalists should have to leave the town."

In addition to the beating of the journalists, the journalists of the region are fully censored and are not allowed to interview government officials, according to journalists in Bardhere.

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