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Published On: Thu, Oct 22nd, 2015

Somalia:Assassination attempt on American journalist in Nairobi

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There has been an attempt on the life of Eritrean American journalist, Michael Abraham (aka Abraha), in Nairobi where he is a freelance writer for Doha Center for Media Freedom and the on-line Focus Magazine of the Australia based African Think Tank.

Police investigation has continued following the attack on August 21, 2015 in which nail-studded wooden frame was hurled through Michael’s window hitting his bed in the middle of the night. PoliceForensics evidence showed that unknown assailants tried to eliminate the veteran journalist under the guise of darkness without firing a shot.

Michael was not in bed at the time of the attack which followed a robbery at his house two days earlier (August 19) in which his laptop, cellphones were stolen apparently in order to gain access to personal and confidential information.

Michael is a long time print and broadcast reporter who has in the past interviewed politicians such as Robert Mugabe, Fidel Castro and Oliver Tambo for radio and TV programs. Covering East African affairs in recent years, he has angered some governments and businesses for exposing corrupt and abusive practices. In April 2014, there was another aborted kidnapping and assassination attempt in which a foreign government agent and four misguided Kenyan police officers were involved. The case is still with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Nairobi.

Michael has been residing in the Kenyan capital since his evacuation by the US government from Juba in the wake of the outbreak of violent fighting in December 2013 in South Sudan where he served for two years as chief news editor and trainer for The Pioneer newspaper and later as media consultant for UNESCO-South Sudan. 

Police are yet to make arrest(s) from a list of suspects. No motive has been established for the attack on August 21, 2015. Michael says the incident occurred a few days after his Somalia article entitled, Between a Rock and a Hard Place in Somalia appeared on the Doha Center for Media Freedom website where he discusses protection of journalists in danger zones.


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