Help Rescue a Somali Reporter, Targeted for Assassination (Updated Five Times)

12.06.09

Categorie: Africa, David Axe, Reporters |

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by DAVID AXE

On Sunday gunmen shot and killed Muktar Hirabe, director of Radio Shabelle in Mogadishu, making him the fifth Somali reporter to die this year, in a country where being a journalist is one of the most dangerous jobs there is.

With Hirabe was Ahmed Omar Hashi (at right in the photo), a Shabelle senior producer and my friend. Hashi was shot in the hand and stomach, but survived. He called me on Monday. He does not know who targeted him, but he is certain they will return to finish the job. He told me he needs $1,500 to get a visa and get out of Somalia, before the gunmen strike again.

I have promised to help Hashi, as best I can. I am good for $300, and World Politics Review publisher Hampton Stephens has pledged $500. Meanwhile, WIB-pal Paul McLeary in Washington, D.C., has promised some cash and volunteered to facilitate the wire transfer. Who else can help? We have two days …

To donate, use the Paypal button at left. Any donations flow to me. I then forward them to Paul, who will be making the wire transfer at the end of this week.

Update #1, 6/9/09: Donations are trickling in. We’re close to our $1,500 goal, and should hit the mark by the Thursday deadline. We’re aiming to make the transfer on Saturday. I’ll be speaking to Hashi on Thursday to check on his condition and make sure he’s ready to receive the money.

Update #2, 6/9/09: We’re now within a couple hundred dollars of our goal, thanks to Hampton, Alex, Xiaolu and a dozen other contributors. Any donations received after Wednesday will not clear in time to make the first wire transfer, planned for the end of this week. I will arrange a second transfer at a later date, so feel free to keep giving. And thanks, everyone. You’re saving a life.

Update #3, 6/10/09: Donations have now exceeded $1,500. I will be sending Hashi the money in two batches, since the more recent donations will take until next week to clear Paypal.

Update #4, 6/11/09: The money is on the way.

Update #5, 6/12/09: I spoke to Hashi today. He said he is feeling better, and will “never, ever forget” all your help raising money. Funds arrive in Mogadishu on Saturday.

(Photo: David Axe)

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23 Responses to “Help Rescue a Somali Reporter, Targeted for Assassination (Updated Five Times)”

  1. C. Moose says:

    Any speculation on who’s behind the attacks, or is the situation still to sensitive to go that far?

  2. David Axe says:

    C. Moose,

    No one knows, but some press reports have accused Al Shabab, the Islamic insurgent group. It’s unlikely we’ll ever know for sure.

  3. anonforthis says:

    You really can’t come up with $1500 yourself to save your friend’s life?

  4. David Axe says:

    Anon:

    I’m a freelance reporter in a very difficult field. I have no savings, several maxed-out credit cards, and I own nothing except my laptop computer. I have pledged $300, which will mean defaulting on some important bill. The rest will have to come from someone else, because I cannot make money out of thin air.

    Also, bear in mind that I periodically send cash to several other African journalists, out of my own pocket. I just don’t have much to work with. Believe me, I wish I did.

  5. Valeriano says:

    I’m afraid the ‘donate’ link doesn’t work. At least in my computer I get a Paypal error message

  6. The donate link doesn’t work. :(

  7. Caroline says:

    Yes, i confirm the donate link does not work

  8. Eddy says:

    Anon is an idiot…keep up the great work.

  9. Eddy says:

    By the way – confirmed the link is working now.

  10. keith says:

    Just pitched in $50. Good luck and hope he gets out of there safely.

  11. [...] On Sunday, gunmen ambushed two of Somalia’s most respected journalists, while the two men were walking in Mogadishu’s Bakara market. Muktar Mohamed Hirabe, long-time director of Shabelle Radio, was killed; his companion Ahmed Omar Hashi, a senior producer for Shabelle, was wounded in the hand and stomach. [...]

  12. I can personally confirm Axe’s complete and utter poverty.

    Let us know how it turns out.

  13. [...] Two weeks ago, unidentified gunmen targeted Somali radio reporter Ahmed Omar Hashi, aka Ahmed “Tajir,” as he was walking in Mogadishu’s Bakara Market with Moqtar Hirabe, his director. Hirabe died, on the spot; Hashi’s friends rushed him to Medina Hospital, pictured, with wounds to his arm and stomach. The attack was the latest in a series of assaults on journalists. In the following week, my readers, with a big boost from World Politics Review publisher Hampton Stephens, helped me raise more than $1,600 to get Hashi out of Somalia — and the Committee to Protect Journalists raised $1,000, on its own. Today, I’m happy to report that Hashi has safely left the country. He’s in a neighboring African nation, safe for now. But his assailants have called him, threatening to kill him if he ever returns to Somalia. [...]

  14. [...] Two weeks ago, Somali journalist Ahmed Omar Hashi, aka Ahmed “Tajir,” pictured, survived an assassination attempt, by extremists, that killed his colleague Moqtar Hirabe. War Is Boring readers donated funds to help Hashi escape to another country. But his assailants figured out where he was, and sent him this email, translated from Somali: The opponents of the truth don’t succeed, and wherever they go, we will vanquish them. [...]

  15. [...] Two weeks ago, Somali journalist Ahmed Omar Hashi, aka Ahmed “Tajir,” pictured, survived an assassination attempt, by extremists, that killed his colleague Moqtar Hirabe. Readers donated funds to help Hashi escape to another country. But his assailants figured out where he was, and sent him this email, translated from Somali: The opponents of the truth don’t succeed, and wherever they go, we will vanquish them. [...]

  16. [...] They almost made good on their threat. On June 7, gunmen attacked Hashi and a colleague, Moqtar Hirabe, while the two were walking in Mogadishu’s Bakara Market. Hirabe, Radio Shabelle’s widely respected director, died in the attack; Hashi sustained injuries to his hand and stomach, but survived. As Hashi was recuperating in a neighboring country, his attackers e-mailed him. “Neither a Muslim nor a Christian can give you safe haven,” their message said. “And we know the people you were working with and the propaganda that you are waging.” [...]

  17. [...] Related: Diagnosing Somalia’s “Failing” Transitional Government Offiziere.ch: Spies Posing as Reporters, Threaten Journalism Two More Foreigners Abducted in Somalia? World Politics Review: Somali Extremists Willing to Kill, to Cover Up Eritrea Connection Death Threat E-mail from Somali Extremist Somali Journo, Assassination Survivor, Flees Country World Politics Review: Attacks on Somali Media Underscore Lawlessness Somali Gov’t to Neighbors: Invade Us, Please Help Rescue a Somali Reporter, Targeted for Assassination Offiziere.ch: Mogadishu Battle Draws in Foreign Powers Ethiopians Re-Invade Somalia? Ethiopian Prez: Somali Insurgents “Desperate” Alleged American Jihadist in Somalia = CIA Drone? Offiziere.ch: Fresh Fighting Deepens Somali Islamist Schism Fighting Resumes in Mogadishu No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  18. [...] Related: World Politics Review: Somaliland Advocate Vies for World Focus Somaliland Hires Freelance Diplomats Diagnosing Somalia’s “Failing” Transitional Government Offiziere.ch: Spies Posing as Reporters, Threaten Journalism Two More Foreigners Abducted in Somalia? World Politics Review: Somali Extremists Willing to Kill, to Cover Up Eritrea Connection Death Threat E-mail from Somali Extremist Somali Journo, Assassination Survivor, Flees Country World Politics Review: Attacks on Somali Media Underscore Lawlessness Somali Gov’t to Neighbors: Invade Us, Please No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  19. [...] Related: Somali Shabab Strikes Back after U.S. Raid World Politics Review: Somali “Travelers”: The Baddest, Holiest Gang, Part Two World Politics Review: Somali “Travelers”: The Holiest Gang, Part One Columbia Journalism Review: Somalia’s Dark Days World Politics Review: Somali Extremists Willing to Kill, to Cover up Eritrea Connection Death Threat E-mail from Somali Extremist Somali Journo, Assassination Survivor, Flees Country World Politics Review: Attacks on Somali Media Underscore Lawlessness Somali Gov’t to Neighbors: Invade Us, Please Help Rescue a Somali Reporter, Targeted for Assassination Offiziere.ch: Mogadishu Battle Draws in Foreign Powers Ethiopians Re-Invade Somalia? Ethiopian Prez: Somali Insurgents “Desperate” Alleged American Jihadist in Somalia = CIA Drone? Offiziere.ch: Fresh Fighting Deepens Somali Islamist Schism No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  20. [...] A suicide bomber struck the Shamo Hotel in Mogadishu today, during a graduation ceremony for a Somali university. At least 19 people died, including three government ministers, several doctors and two reporters. One of the reporters was from Radio Shabelle, an outfit that earlier this year saw its director killed and a senior producer wounded in a shooting assassination. The male bomber, apparently a member of the Al-Shabab extremists group, reportedly slipped through security by dressing as a woman. [...]

  21. [...] of the attack, I asked War Is Boring readers to donate cash for Hashi’s treatment. Together, we promptly raised nearly $2,000. While awaiting the wire transfer, the assassins struck again, firing rounds into [...]

  22. [...] June last year, Islamic extremists targeted radio reporters Moqtar Hirabe and Ahmed Omar Hashi in Mogadishu’s Bakara Market. Hirabe died [...]

  23. [...] Al Shabab has targeted Somali journalists for assassination. War Is Boring readers saved one of their victims through [...]

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