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One radio journalist arrested, another injured in clashes between insurgents and government forces

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is concerned over the safety of journalists due to a fresh wave of attacks against journalists since the beginning of 2008.

Journalist Mohammed Shidane Daban was arrested on 4 January at Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport by Transitional Federal Government security forces. Mohammed Shidane, who works for privately-owned Banadir Radio, had his documents and baggage seized by security forces before he was able to depart from the airport. He is being detained at an unknown location.

On 3 January, journalist Mohammed Bashir Hashi, who works for Radio Shabelle, was injured in Mogadishu's Wardhigley district during an exchange of fire between government forces and insurgents. At the time, the journalist was recording voices of people fleeing from the area and the sound of gunshots. Some eyewitnesses said that an armed man fired towards the journalist, hitting him in the shoulder and left hand.

"We condemn the act that wounded our colleague Mohammed Bashir Hashi and wish him a speedy recovery," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "Those involved in armed conflict must not target journalists and must know that they have an obligation to protect civilians, including journalists."

"We demand the immediate and unconditional release of Mohammed Shidane Daban, as we believe his detention is related to his journalistic work," said Omar Faruk Osman.

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