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Somali Shebab journalist ‘killer’ to face trial: government

December 13, 2014

A Somali journalist accused of murdering colleagues and working for the Al-Qaeda linked Shebab and arrested in Kenya has been extradited to Mogadishu to stand trial, Somalia’s information minister said Saturday.

A series of journalists have been killed in recent years in Somalia, one of the most dangerous countries in the world to work as a reporter.

“Somali security forces helped the capture of Hassan Hanafi Haji who was hiding in Nairobi,” Somalia’s Minister of Information Mustafa Duhulow said in a statement.

Hanafi, arrested in August, was extradited to Somalia on December 9 to “face justice”, the minister added, calling him “a well known senior Al-Shebab member who was responsible for the killing of Somali journalists.”

Shebab rebels have carried out repeated attacks in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya as part of their fight to overthrow the country’s internationally-backed government, as well as the African Union troops supporting it, which include Kenyan soldiers.

Hanafi was arrested in the Kenyan capital after reportedly travelling there for medical treatment.

No date was given for the start of the trial.

The Shebab continue to launch attacks in the heart of the capital Mogadishu, as well as in Kenya. The Shebab operate their own radio station and regularly release propaganda videos, and were previously active on Twitter before their accounts were shut down.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.