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Radio journalist detained, assaulted by abusive official's security guard while covering public event

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - NUSOJ condemns the attack on journalist Abdihakim Yusuf Moalim of the Somali Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), a privately-owned radio station based in Bossaso town, located in Bari region.

On 26 January 2008, Moalim and a cameraman went to cover a meeting between Puntland officials and local communities at the regional headquarters in Bossasso. There, the Deputy Minister of Security for Puntland, Ibrahim Artan (Haji Bakin), first slapped Moalim, following which the official's security guard beat the journalist, who was also detained for about one hour. Moalim suffered several wounds to his face as a result of the assault.

The Deputy Minister also criticised SBC as "biased" and "provocative", refused to regard SBC as a professional media house, and called its journalists "bogus" and "liars". The Puntland Minister of Information later apologised for the incident.

"We condemn this sadistic attack as an oppressive and grave action in violation of the rights and the freedoms of a journalist who was carrying out his professional duties," said Omar Faruk Osman. "We also call on the authorities to ensure the safety of journalists and respect for freedom of the press."

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