The impact of Al Shabaab’s assassiffation of journalists mSomaha
Objective 1 Al Shabaab (AS) has conducted numerous deadly attacks against journalists in recent years This assessment highlights the impact of these attacks on Somalia’s dia inurity Assessment
. Somali journalists are easy targets they have little formal security, their activities arc very public, the are some of the highest profile individuals in their communities, and more sigificantlv, many ph.Wide a counter-narrative in oppositiOn to AS ideology.

• Somalia is one of the world’s most dangerous th countries for journalists; it ranks 175 out of 17’) countries. Sixty-six journalists have been reported killed between 2007 and the present.




One of the most dangerous countries for journalists to operate 2. The National Union of Somali Journa1ists reported in December 2011 that 44 journalists were killed in Somalia between 2007 and 2011. The report also noted that 250 media workers fled the country after receiving death threats. In 2012, 18 journalists and media workers were killed in Somalia, and in the first quarter of 2013, four journaIits were killed. Foreign journalists are also targeted. According to ‘Reporters without Borders World Press lreedom Index’, Somalia is one of’ the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists. It ranks 175th out of’ 179 countries for journalistic freedoms; only Syria, Turkmenisian. North Korea and Eritrea are below Sonialia. 3. In general, Somalia’s security situation has been improving since mid-2011. [he impro’ement began when Ethiopian and AMISOM forces expelled AS extremists from Mogadishu. This development encouraged journalists to return to the citY. Despite the success ol’the combined force, AS has retains a core of dedicated extremists in Mogadishu, which are conducting attacks on the government and its supporters. AS also began to target the increasing number of’ expatriate journalists returning to the capital. Most of those killed worked for radio stations, the primary source of news in Somalia.

Growth of media services 4, Despite the violence agai: blooming”, and that Somali news the number of radio and television 2012 and journalists continue to cover

that “the media landscape is [ogadishu. One report says that 1 to 30 from July to November

Jis is directly challenged by 5. The AS’s aim to impose a radica[ version of journalists when the latter promote views and opinions that ep.inter the AS message AS has attemptcl to undLnmne the credibility of Somali journalists by labelling them ‘spies for Western intersts FLoe’ei the malority of Somahs are notsupportive of AS or its methods Rather, most Somalis aie optJn1isn. ihout the future, and hopeful that the new Somali Federal Government that came to power in the late summer of 2012 can improve life in Somalia. However, such hope and optimism remains Fragile.
6. Although AS lost control otMogadishu in mid-2011, it continues to assassinate its critics in the city espec ailyjotiinalistc’who dQ not hae the same level of secunty as government officials AS’s success in aiiakin journalists has led to a rcduction in its popular support

Impact of goveriiinenttask force to investigate violence against journalists

7. The AS has until recently murdered journalists with impunity. In February 2013, the Somali government set up a task force to investigate allegations of intimidation or violence against journalists. An early success of the task force was in March 2013 when it assisted in a successful conviction and sentencing oI’cin AS member, whopleaded guilty to killing a journalist in September

ITAC I CIET 1 3139-E







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