Nasteh Dahir Farah

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CPJ’s Impunity Index spotlights countries
where journalists are slain and killers go free

New York, March 23, 2009 -- The already murderous conditions for the press in Sri Lanka and Pakistan deteriorated further in the past year, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found in its newly updated Impunity Index, a list of countries where journalists are killed regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes. Colombia, historically one of the world’s deadliest nations for the press, improved as the rate of murders declined and prosecutors won important recent convictions.

Anarchic violence gripped a nation sadly accustomed to chaos and suffering as a weak federal government sought to fend off insurgencies in the south and central parts of the country. Two reporters were killed in the southern port city of Kismayo in 2008, continuing a national pattern of violence against the press that has claimed the lives of nine journalists in two years. At least 21 Somali reporters have gone into exile, according to CPJ data, although the National Union of Somali Journalists estimates that dozens more have fled their homes in fear of reprisals. The risks grew deeper still in 2008 with two kidnappings involving five journalists, three of whom were still being held for ransom in late year.

On Friday, as we welcomed the release of a journalist kidnapped in Somalia, we received a compelling account from a freelance reporter working in the capital, Mogadishu. Our colleague describes the perils of working in a city where journalists operate at the mercy of warring insurgents and government troops, and throughout Somalia, one of the world's most dangerous nations for the press. 

New York, December 18, 2008—For the sixth consecutive year, Iraq was the deadliest country in the world for the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists found in its end-of-year analysis. The 11 deaths recorded in Iraq in 2008, while a sharp drop from prior years, remained among the highest annual tolls in CPJ history.

New York, June 9, 2008—CPJ calls for a thorough investigation into the June 7 killing of Somali journalist Nasteh Dahir Farah. Dahir, vice chairman of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), was shot by two men while walking home from an Internet cafe at around 7 p.m. near his home in Kismayo, local journalists told CPJ.

Dahir was rushed to the local hospital, but died due to blood loss 10 minutes later, the NUSOJ reported. Prior to his death, Dahir had told the medical staff that two men had shot him with AK-47s, nurse Ahmed Said Ali told the AP. Gun cartridges and remnants of the drug qat were found in the area where the murder took place, HornAfrik reported.

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