As a child, Abdalle lost his arm in a militia attack. Determined to still write, he had to teach himself to do so with his left hand.
The clan fighting that maimed Abdalle killed his 11-year-old brother as the siblings walked home together from school.
At that time, the family were living in a refugee camp in Mogadishu, and the daily human rights violations and unfairness that Abdalle witnessed there set him on his career path as a journalist.
“Whenever there was food distribution the militia would come and loot that food and my mind was always asking me, when I grow up what can I do?” Abdalle told VOA. “Every day I used to buy a newspaper. I said, the best way to fight injustices is to become a journalist.”
But now the 37-year-old, whose work has appeared in international outlets including the The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal, is in his own fight for justice.
He is accused of publicly disobeying a government directive and holding a press conference that criticized the directive.
The Ministry of Information in a statement in October denied the charges are related to Abdalle's work as journalist. But press freedom groups say the charges.