In an article on September 29, 2012 Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar have reported for Reuters: “Somalia’s al Shabaab rebels pull out of Kismayu bastion.” Overnight, Somalia’s al Shabaab rebels retreated from the southern port of Kismayu, therefore abandoning the last major bastion of their five-year revolt to an offensive by African Union and Somali government troops. This loss of Kismayu a day after it was attacked by Kenyan and Somali soldiers backed by air strikes is certain deal a major blow to the al Qaeda-linked rebels.
However, the situation in Somalia is plagued by problems dealing with accurate reporting on the situation there with Al Jazeera reporting on September 28, 2012: “Somalia’s war on journalism.” 13 journalists have been killed in Somalia this year. On September 20 a suicide bomb attack in Mogadishu killed three reporters. Just a few hours later, unidentified gunmen shot dead veteran journalist Hassan Yusuf Absuge for covering the explosion. Al-Shabaab, which is the armed militant group operating in Somalia, has claimed responsibility for a number of the killings this year.
However, it appears Al-Shabaab is not the only threat to journalists in Somalia. No official regulations exist on what you can or cannot report, however, journalists trying to cover stories that criticize Al-Shabab, government, big business or certain clans and their leaders, clearly do so at their own risk. In the meantime as Syria’s civil war gets bloodier, journalists and media activists have been becoming ever more explicit targets for attack. 11 professional journalists and 32 citizen journalists have been killed in Syria.
Al Jazeera has also reported, “The decision by the Iranian government to block access to Google’s search and mail services in the country – after widespread protests over the anti-Islam Youtube clip – is being seen as a step towards disconnecting Iran from the world-wide web completely; Vietnam, which has the second largest number of internet dissidents in jail in the world after China, is seeking to push through a new law which would require internet users to register with their real names and would impose further penalties for criticizing the regime.”
And in the United States, although this is denied by the government, human rights activist citizens journalists are often hit as being mentally ill by the government and the American psychiatrists, which is often upheld by the courts. The targets of these assaults are drugged with painful psychotropic drugs and often thrown into mental institutions where they are beaten up, drugged further and put in isolation. And the U.S. feds often keep these journalists under intense electronic surveillance and blacklist their interests. Therefore, as a crackdown on the truth about the world around us prevails across the world, a lack of respect for a free press is apparent internationally, including in the United States.