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IFJ reacts to savage assassination of leading Somali journalist

28 September 2016

Two men armed with pistols shot and killed Somali radio journalist, Abdiasis Mohamed Ali, widely known as Haji, in Mogadishu on Tuesday 27 September 2016.

The journalist, a reporter with Radio Shabelle in the Somali capital, was hit five times in the chest and neck. The attack happened in Jiiro-garoob neighbourhood of the Yaqshid district in northern Mogadishu, shortly after 6pm local time when he left the radio station to visit his uncle. He was pronounced dead shortly afterwards. 

Abdiasis Mohamed Ali, 33, who had been working for Radio Shabelle for more than seven years, had been arrested several times by the police and the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) for his media work. 

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said it had "learned with indignation and horror the news of this assassination, which adds the name of Abdiasis Mohamed Ali to a long list of Somali journalists who paid with their life for their commitment to their profession and informing the people of Somalia. The IFJ has paid tribute to his memory and offered all his relatives and colleagues its condolences and its total solidarity.

"Together with its member-union, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), the IFJ denounces in the strongest terms this cold-blooded murder which has sent shockwaves through the journalists' community in Mogadishu, in Somalia, in Africa, and all over the world.

Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said:

"Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.
"We demand an end to this impunity in Somalia where local journalists are killed in targeted assassinations each year by ruthless and undemocratic forces who go unpunished."

The IFJ has also demanded the Somali authorities and the international organisations working in Somalia to protect the human rights of journalists. "They must do everything in their capacity to investigate Abdiasis Mohamed’s murder, to find his assassins, to prosecute them and to have them punished."

Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ secretary general, said:

"This cold-blooded murder again shows the precarious security conditions that Somali journalists continue to face. This is another murder of a colleague, a friend and a union member.
"The journalist community in Mogadishu is shocked by this latest attack and there is a widespread concern that many more journalists are at risk – forthcoming elections will provide the environment for politically motivated assassins to eliminate defenceless journalists to send a political message.
"Our colleagues are being attacked with impunity and the government has abysmally failed to protect working journalists.
"We will not stand by as these devastating attacks on journalists and on journalism continue."

Later today, the UN Human Rights Council is due to consider the human rights situation in Somalia. The IFJ and NUSOJ will address the council and demand the protection of journalists and the prosecution of their killers.

Tags: , journalists killed, journalist safety, impunity, somalia, national union of somali journalists, un, human rights, ifj, solidarity