Crackdown on Free Press in Somalia Continues

Journalists say they were beaten by cops after being invited by a judge to cover court proceedings



Somalia's only had a full-fledged government for the last seven months or so, but that nascent government's already begun to flex its muscle in the realm of restricting rights. It made international headlines earlier this year when a court handed down a one-year prison sentence to a woman who accused security forces of rape and the journalist who interviewed her. (A higher court cleared her earlier this month, while upholding the journalist's sentence)  Now several Somali journalists covering the judiciary say they were brutalized by police after being invited to cover court proceedings by a judge. Via the Guardian:

At least five reporters were assaulted, some seriously, on Saturday,according to the National Union of Somali Journalists. The union leader said he believes the attack is related to recent media coverage of a woman who alleged that she was raped by uniformed men and then pressured by police to drop her case. The reporters had been invited to the court by its chairman, Hashi Elmi Nor, to cover hearings there but were "kicked out of the court" on the orders of a local police chief, the union said.

A court security official promised to take disciplinary action and asked the journalists to return. But when they did a soldier allegedly grabbed a gun and pointed to the journalists, threatened "to kill anyone who tries to enter, disobeying his commander".

After the journalists left again, police from the Afar-Irdood station in Hamarwein district "were ordered to chase and arrest the journalists", the union said. "The police started beating the journalists and pointing the gun at those who managed to escape."

A reporter and cameraman were seriously hurt and briefly detained, according to the union, whose treasurer suffered a broken finger as he tried to intervene. Eventually the court chairman ordered police to release the journalists and return their equipment.

The U.S. is embracing the new government in Somalia while the United Nations is looking to expand its peacekeeping mission in the country. One journalist has been killed in Somalia this year so far, following nineteen in 2012, with more than half coming after the formation of the post-transitional government in August.

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  1. Somalia = libertarian paradise

    1. um….ROADZ?! SOMALIA!?

      1. Jinx!

    2. Indisputable fact. That’s why the statists keep saying it.

    3. There is nothing more libertarian than police brutality. Nothing. Why do you think it’s always such a hot topic around here?

    4. Somalia is a Libertarian paradise in the same way North Korea is a Socialist paradise.

  2. that nascent government’s already begun….restricting rights

    So they’re off to a good start! Bravo. Proving, once again, that national governments are even worse than SOMALIA!!!111!

    Also, ROADZ.

    1. Pfft, what are the rights of a few journalists compared with all the not-starving and not-being-killed-by-random-warlords’-militias that the new gov’t has provided?

  3. Hey! How did my Evil Twin get here? It’s alright – I’m back! Please return to your normal duties!

    1. Which of you has the beard?

      1. That’s a terrible way to talk about Almanian’s mother.

        1. HAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s funny cause she’s DEAD!

          Wait, no, that’s my dad…

          1. Sooooo…. your mom was your dad’s beard?

          2. Now I feel terrible.

  4. Thank Galt Somalia finally has a government so they can civilize the place a little.

    1. It is getting better. Remember, you can’t have freedom without government.

      1. You can’t have freedom without…an institution whose very existence is predicated on predation and extortion?

        1. The question is not “will there be predation and extortion?” it is “what can we do to control it?”

          Anarchism isn’t it. That’s just means a vacuum for predation and extortion.

      2. Indeed. If there are no police to beat journalists, then Somalia will be just like, um, somewhere.

      3. That doesn’t mean government = more freedom

  5. Actually I was reading a news article about the new building boom in the gov’t controlled areas of Somalia the other day, and the reported included a rough translation of a work song he heard some construction guys singing. It was the greatest thing I’ve ever read, and it went something like,

    “People in the west have many nice things;
    We Somalis have many camels;
    We are very proud of our camels;
    People in the west do not have camels!”

    And indeed they are correct! I do not, in fact, own a camel, and am slightly jealous at their apparent ease of availability in Somalia.

    1. Some things in life are bad,
      They can really make you mad.
      Other things just make you swear and curse.
      When you’re chewing on life’s gristle,
      Don’t grumble, give a whistle,
      And this’ll help things turn out for the best.

      1. Always stand at the right end of the camel!

        1. The…. middle end?

    2. May they keep the camels – I suffered their presence enough for a lifetime in 2004-2005.

      Though I did learn that the ones the Kuchi keep do like strawberry Powerbars. Nothing like having a camel beg like a puppy.

      1. When I was in the sandbox I never saw a single goddamn camel spit. And after all I had heard about their mythical spitting properties! I was, and remain, disappoint.

        1. I think you have to get them pretty riled up for that. I got bellowed at, snapped at (once) but never spat upon.

          1. Got my Armed Forces Expeditionary going there in the early 90’s.

            What a fun paradise!

            1. Afghanistan in the 1990s? Do tell!

              1. Sorry my man. It was Somalia in the 90’s. Unified Task Force onboard the Ranger, where the operators deployed from. Never got “feet dry” but we pulled the entire battle group of the Ranger ships and the MEU’s ships within 1 N.Mile of shore.
                It was an AWESOME show of force.

  6. The birth pangs of democracy!

  7. Below is an actual comment on this Slate article pointing out that Obama is worse than Bush ever was on government secrecy issues.…..etive.html

    I look the other way because Obama’s opponents are terrifying.

    It’s not ideal. Obama should be called out on a few things. Unfortunately, nutwings keep the press and its readers busy with their crackpot ideas and attacks. I’ll take a flawed Obama over Republican elitism and extremism any day. And those ARE the choices on the table.

    And then this classic

    Why, because his Republican opponents are so extreme that progressives and Democrats are afraid that sincere criticism on drone policy will be used to untie consensus or progress on a range of other progressive and moderate policy issues.

    Yet another case where the GOP intransigence is undermining their own cause.

    1. Bootlickers going to bootlick. These are our opponents, let us rejoice in how retarded they are.

      1. Unfortunately for us, retards are strong, and thanks to our “education” system, they come in much more dangerous mass produced variety.

    2. And those ARE the choices on the table.

      Yep, only two choices – truth and light or darkness and evil. There is no third, or fourth way. As God intended.

      The derp is strong with this one.

      Although Yet another case where the GOP intransigence is undermining their own cause gives a run for the money.

      1. I used to think that it would be fun to go on KOS or DU or Slate and post the most outrageously stupid pro liberal comments I could think of and see if I could get them to agree with me. I never bothered to do it because the real comments were dumber than anything I could think of.

        1. Maybe someone else had the same idea and got there before you.

          1. Maybe. Or maybe people are just that stupid. As a rule, I have always found it to be a good idea to bet on people being stupid when a variety of explanations are available. So, I am going to go with stupid here.

    3. All of that wasted text could easily be condensed to:


    4. Sphynx
      I look the other way because ObamaHitler’s opponents are terrifying.

      It’s not ideal. ObamaHitler should be called out on a few things. Unfortunately, nutwings keep the press and its readers busy with their crackpot ideas and attacks. I’ll take a flawed ObamaHitler over RepublicanCommunist elitism and extremism any day. And those ARE the choices on the table.

      1. ^^THIS^^ That is exactly what fascism’s defenders said and still say.

  8. Well, Somalia’s had a bunch of little governments all along, and most of them were probably just as brutal as the US-approved one that controls Mogadishu and its hinterlands for the moment.

    1. Concur. There is no such thing as no government.

    2. Yes, but despite the anarchy Somalia has experienced substantial economic growth since 1993. Yes, it’s still largely a shithole for a bunch of reasons (overfishing has ruined the fishing industries off the coast, hence the rise of piracy, it being a pawn in the War on Terror, etc), but a lack of government did not prevent a thousand years of Somali culture from stepping up and creating some order throughout the country.

      1. The biggest thing is that lack of a government and five star hotels drove away the white man’s burden industrial complex. Somalia is proof positive that foreign aid is destructive.

      2. There was no lack of government.

        1. I agree overall, though there has been a lack of a strong central government

  9. Somalia’s only had a full-fledged government for the last seven months or so, but that nascent government’s already begun to flex its muscle in the realm of restricting rights.

    That’s because the journalists didn’t build that.

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