Somalia: IFJ Safety Fund for Somali Journalists stolen, supposed beneficiaries claim

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Wednesday December 27, 2017 - 21:04:35 in Latest News by Staff Reporter
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    Somalia: IFJ Safety Fund for Somali Journalists stolen, supposed beneficiaries claim

    MOGADISHU (Horn Observer) Funds from International Federation of Journalists allocated for the wounded journalists and families of killed journalists on 14 October bombing attack in Mogadishu, have been stolen, would-be beneficiaries claim as reporte

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NUSOJ and journalist members attend the burrial of murdered Somali journalist. (file photo)
MOGADISHU (Horn Observer) Funds from International Federation of Journalists allocated for the wounded journalists and families of killed journalists on 14 October bombing attack in Mogadishu, have been stolen, would-be beneficiaries claim as reported by Somalia's Dalsan Radio.

According to wounded journalists and families of killed journalists, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) contacted both wounded journalists and families of those killed on 14 October attack in Mogadishu that killed more than 500 people, through Farah Lamaane, a BBC Somali reporter who had good contact with the IFJ officials including the organization’s treasurer Jim Boumelha and Executive committee member, Omar Faruk Osman, who might have facilitated the misappropriated funds, given their positions at the IFJ.


In an interview with Radio Dalsan Mr.Abdulkadir Omar Abdulle a VOA reporter who was injured in the bombing said he was contacted by Nairobi based BBC Somali reporter Farah Lamane on behalf of IFJ, telling him and other victims that he would be sending money to them which he received on their behalf from the International Federation of Journalists "IFJ”.

" I have not received any financial assistance from IFJ to date." said Abdulle.

Lamane later confirmed that he had received the funds and would wire the money through a money transfer company. However, its not clear the whereabouts of the funds released by the IFJ on behalf of Somali Journalists.

"Families of the two journalists killed in the October 14 bombing have not received any money from IFJ,” family members told Dalsan Radio.

Another prominent journalist Mohamed Omar Baakaay said he received funding from Free Press Unlimited "but not a single shilling from the IFJ safety fund”.

A detailed investigation ran by Radio Dalsan pointed to misappropriation of the IFJ Safety Funds by BBC Somali’s Farah Lamane in collaboration with deposed NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk who runs a parallel unrecognized journalist trade union and is part of the IFJ officials, according to reports by Radio Dalsan

This is the first time IFJ safety funds were misappropriated, in 2011 IFJ safety funds for Somali Journalists were stolen by Former NUSOJ Official, Omar Faruk Osman, prompting the union to replace him.

In a separate incident, the Netherlands based Free Press Unlimited donated $1500 to the families of late Abdullahi Osman Farah and Ali Nur Sayid Ahmed.  Family members confirmed that they had received the money from the Mohamed Ibrahim Moaimuu, the Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) on behalf of Free Press Unlimited.

Somali Journalists work in a very dangerous environment and risk their life to report on what is happening inside Somalia and many lost their lives.  Early December, a young TV journalist Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed Gaabow was killed in Wadajir district when a bomb believed to have been attached to his car exploded.

- Radion Dalsan / Horn Observer -


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