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Somalia: Sad day as celebration turns to tragedy

04 April 2012

Press release

ARTICLE 19 condemns the heinous attack on civilians and journalists which took place earlier today at Somalia’s National Theatre, during the first anniversary of the re-opening of the country’s national television station. The suicide bomb, the fourth since the beginning of the year, left scores of civilians and public officials dead and seven journalists amongst the critically wounded. 

“This is a shocking and unacceptable act. The targeting of journalists, civilians and public officials in today’s attack sends a chilling message to all those who want to support the fledgling process of restoration,” said Henry Maina, Director, ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa.

As a key member of the East Africa Journalists in Distress Network, ARTICLE 19 will work directly with all international journalists’ organisations to offer as much assistance as is practically possible to the injured.

Somalia remains one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists and media workers. In 2011, four journalists were killed, and seven wounded. Since January 2012, two prominent journalists were killed. At present, all killings of journalists have not been investigated nor resolved, nor have the perpetrators of these crimes been brought to justice.

“The reopening of the national TV station should have been a moment of national pride for Somalia. Instead, it was turned into a bloodbath, a tragic reflection of the instability which continues to caste a dark shadow on the future of the country. Today’s attack is also a sad reminder that the media counts amongst the primary targets of those intent on  controlingpeople’s access to information, people’s ideas and vision for their future,” states Dr. Agnes Callamard, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19.

“ARTICLE 19 joins the families and friends of the departed and wounded at this sad moment and wish the injured a quick recovery,” adds Maina.

For More Information:

For more media interviews please contact:

Henry Maina, Director, ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or call on +254 (20) 3862230/2

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