Press Freedom Organizations Honor the best Somali Investigative Journalist of the Year 2010

Sunday March 06, 2011 - 18:33:37 in English News by Super Admin
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    Press Freedom Organizations Honor the best Somali Investigative Journalist of the Year 2010

    Honor Award to Dahir Alasow-

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Honor Award to Dahir Alasow-

Mogadishu (06-03-2011) - Journalists, Dahir Abdulle Alasow, the editor of the most popular Somali online newspaper, was recognized the best investigative journalist in Somalia, the year 2010 after his efforts in the last five years helped the people of Somalia and the international community to understand the inside stories of the most notorious groups in Somalia.

The organizations, Federation of Somali Journalists -FESOJ, Somali journalist’s rights agency-SOJRA, Somali Journalists in Netherlands-SOMJON and Somali foreign correspondents-SOFCA honored Alasow as the best investigative journalist of the year 2010.

Alasow investigates and reports some exclusive and very investigative reports before the news emerges and he was credited as the first Somali journalists who dared to report that three Alqaeda suspects who were suspected of the explosions of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 were in Somalia.

In 2002 he reported that Fazul Abdulahi Mohamed, who is believed to be the most senior Alqaeda member in Somalia now and his former colleagues Salah Ali Nabhani and Abu Dalha Al Sudani aka Abdalla Al Sudani were in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.

The report demanded the attention of Alqaeda members in Somalia, but they didn’t decide to kill him. In 2004, he investigated and reported that Alqaeda cells in Somalia led by the late Alshabab commander Adan Hashi Ayrow killed a BBC reporter Kate Peyton who was gunned down as she was leaving a hotel in Mogadishu.

Alshabab, the Alqaeda affiliate in Somalia was establishing its forces at that time and started to hunt anyone seen as a potential spy or investigative journalist. The moves they took forced Alasow to take emergence security measures to ensure his safety.

He was following daily security tips he got from a hostile environment seminar he attended and advices from friends and colleagues.

Among the reports he was credited to succeed was the investigation he made about the Somali ruthless warlords who were preparing themselves to announce an alliance of warlords who dubbed themselves as Alliance for Restorations of Peace and Counter Terrorism (ARPCT) which was mid in 2006 was ousted from Mogadishu by allied Alshabab and Islamic courts.

He also succeeded to investigate and release to the media the real name of Alshabab’s leader Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr whose real name is Ahmed Abdi Godane, but was not officially know before Alasow published his investigative report about Zubeyr and his Somaliland identity as well.

In the same year Alasow reported that the leader of the Islamic courts regime of that time, the current president of Somalia Shariif Ahmed had a secret relation with US intelligence services in the region, but the report demanded the attention of the Islamist regime who ordered the arrest of Alasow, but he escaped from them.

He finally reported that Alshabab had a hidden agenda to assassinate the leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, who then surprisingly entered in Kenya through facilitation of US embassy in Nairobi.

In 2008, when Islamist groups and some Somali nationalists med in Asmara Eritrea and formed alliance for re-liberation of Somalia, Alasow release an investigation report enlightening that the then leader of that Alliance Sheikh Ahmed would defect from Asmara to either Djibouti or Qatar.

The report confirmed that the defection would come through a secret deal entered with Sheikh Ahmed who accepted to defect from Asmara and accept a peace agreement brokered by the UN and supported by the international community.

He also mentioned in his report that among the deal with Sheikh Ahmed were doubling of the parliament and succeeding the presidency, but both the organizers of the meeting and Sheikh Ahmed denied until things happened as action in January 2009.

In 2010, Alasow made scores of reports and released several secret documents including secret deals with security companies including Sarecen International and SKA.

He also reported the skeleton of Alshabab leadership system and the number of the forces based in clan shares. His reports become popular in the Somali people and highly anticipated before he released them.

His reports didn’t give him support from every part of the population, he earned live threats and death sentence from the Islamist fighters who threatened to behead him any time they found him alive.

From 2006 to 2008, when Ethiopian forces were in Somalia, he was respected as the most hated Somali journalist which he earned his reports against Alshabab which many people thought as forces liberating Ethiopian from Somalia.

In 2009 when Ethiopian forces withdrew from Somalia and Alshabab started violent Taliban style fighting and explosions in Somalia, he got the support of thousands of people who hated him because of his investigations of Alshabab activity in Somalia.

From 2009 to 2010, he became the most popular Somali journalists and got huge respect from the Somali people who are relieved when he releases an investigation report.

His investigative reports and his courageous documentaries brought him to appear in a court in Breda town in Netherlands, where he succeeded over Dahabshiil money transfer which sued him after accusing him of defamation against the company.

Dahabshiil lost the case and Alasow reached his goal after he was cleared before the court that he is innocent and can practice his journalistic profession in Holland.

If the court he appeared was in Somalia he would end up in jail or if it was Alshabab beheading, but thanks God, it was the democracy in Holland that gave him the chance to defend himself and win in the court.

He previously escaped three live attempts before he fled to Holland and got asylum from there, and Alshabab put a press statement with his picture on their website and said that they will never forgive him.

This year, Alasow was announced as the best Somali investigative journalist and he got this prestigious prize as he covered dozens of exclusive stories including the killing of an accused spy Ahmed Keyse Ali Hussein who was an active member of Alshabab and was killed in January as he was accused of spying for CIA.

In December last year, Alasow reported that Alshabab would execute one of its top security officers who closely worked with the leader of the group, Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr.

He was honored by the organizations: Federation of Somali Journalists -FESOJ, Somali journalist’s rights agency-SOJRA, Somali Journalists in Netherlands-SOMJON and Somali foriegn correspondents-SOFCA for his tireless and courageous work of investigative reporting.

By Faduma Farah.

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