Tuesday, September 13, 2011

NUSOJ Condemns Journalists' Labeling by Al-Shabaab

Sheikh Abdulqadir Muumin, al Shabab senior cleric

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
The National Union of Somali journalists (NUSOJ) has today condemned statement from a prominent cleric linked to the leadership of Somali extremist group Al Shabaab, Sheikh Abdulqadir Muumin, for labeling Somali journalists as “unbelievers” who had been “sentenced to death”.

Sheik Abdulqadir, while addressing Al Shabaab followers on Saturday 10 September 2011, in Lower Shabelle region of Southern Somalia, referred to local journalists as “unbelievers” and discouraged the group's followers not to listen to their radio broadcasts.

"You listen to the radio stations but they tell you lies,” he said. “The journalists of BBC, VOA, Radio Mogadishu and other radio stations are apostates and you are not allowed to listen to someone who is sentenced to death,” Sheikh Abdulqadir added. He ardently and repeatedly told the militia's followers not to listen to all radio stations in Mogadishu including BBC Somali Service, VOA Somali section and Radio Mogadishu.

NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman said the statement constituted “a deadly threat to the journalists in Somalia and part of the attempts by the militia to cow the media into silence”.

”Journalists in Somalia will not be cowed by such deadly threats and intimidation and we urge them to continue doing their work of informing the world about the atrocities being perpetrated by the militia and other such terror groups in Somalia,” said Osman.

Al Shabaab militants often label anyone they want to kill as “apostate”. Many journalists in Somalia have been murdered by members of the militia, especially in Mogadishu in the past.

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