Troubles for Mr. H, a Somali national, began because of his work as a journalist in his country. He reported on the civil war from inside Somalia and brought to light crimes committed by Ethiopian troops and various militias operating throughout the country.
Following his interview of an Ethiopian ambassador for a radio program based in Mogadishu, members of the al-Shabaab militia threatened Mr. H on numerous occasions and demanded that he stop working for the radio station.
At the time the threats against Mr. H were leveled, many local journalists were being attacked and killed, including two of his colleagues. When he reported his friends' murders, the threats against him escalated.
Mr. H fled to Kenya. There, he began working as a journalist and documenting human rights abuses for Amnesty International. He returned regularly to Somalia to report.
Several Islamist militias targeted him in 2009 when they became angry with his reporting. Militants arrived at his mother’s home. He avoided harm by pretending to be his older brother. Threats against him continued, and he spent most of his time in Kenya.
Mr. H discovered the next year that rumors were circulating within the Somali community that he was collaborating with foreign intelligence services. He fled to the United States fearing for his safety in Somalia or in Somali enclaves in Kenya.
Mr. H’s imam in the Twin Cities pointed him in the direction of The Advocates for Human Rights, and with the help of The Advocates and its volunteer attorneys at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, he was granted asylum in the spring of 2012.
Mr. H continues his work as a journalist, publishing articles about Somalia and Somali immigrants in the United States, and he recently launched a news website which focuses on Somali issues.
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