Somali Journo, Assassination Survivor, Flees Country
by DAVID AXE
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 Frontline Club and from World Politics Review publisher Hampton Stephens, helped me raise more than $1,600 to get Hashi out of Somalia. 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.
Hashi’s life, in Africa, is all but over. His next step is to seek asylum from the U.S. State Department, in order to begin a new life, in America. We can help. Asylum requires testimony from friends and colleagues. I will be writing a letter on Hashi’s behalf, to form the core of our support for his application. You can help out, by penning a letter, as a word document, and sending it to me at [email protected] The letter should voice your support for Hashi’s request for asylum.
If you’re uncertain about whether Hashi deserves your support, please read my old dispatch from Somalia.
We’re halfway to helping a real hero start a new life, after a close brush with death. Let’s keep pushing.