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Journalist Hassan Bulhan Ali seriously injured in attack during tribal reconciliation meeting

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the violent attack on journalist Hassan Bulhan Ali, the director of Radio Abudwaq, in the town of Abudwaq, in Galgadud region, Central Somalia.

A man with a knife attacked Bulhan Ali on 7 February 2009 at a tribal reconciliation meeting. The attacker, who is known in Abudwaq, stabbed Bulhan Ali five times in the stomach and heart according to family members and journalists who were present during the attack.

Information received from journalists in Abudwaq indicates that the attacker, who escaped from the scene, accused the journalist of biased reporting against his clan, which is one of the two clans that were participating in the reconciliation meeting.

Bulhan Ali, 38, whose injuries were very serious, was rushed to the hospital in the town of Galkayo.

"We denounce this violent attack on Hassan Bulhan Ali," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ secretary general. "We demand that the clan elders punish the attacker."

Bulhan Ali was also freelancing for other radio stations in the country. "Violent attacks against journalists followed by impunity are deplorable," Osman added.

NUSOJ is a national union representing Somali journalists working to promote and protect freedom of the press and the interests and rights of journalists.

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