The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has sounded the alarm over the shocking lack of safety for journalists in Somalia following the death of veteran journalist Nur Muse Hussein (Nur Inji) who died today from injuries he sustained from a targeted shooting in Beledweyne city of Hiran region in Central Somalia on 20 April 2009.
“This killing proves that journalists in Somalia are on hit list of gangs and militias in the country, ” said Gabriel Baglo, Director of IFJ Africa Office. “This is just one murder too many and we are calling for concrete and urgent measures to protect journalists doing their work.”
According to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) Nur Muse Hussein, 56, was wounded while he was covering the fighting in Beledweyn between militias loyal to Hiran Regional Administration and Hisbul Islam, an Islamic movement that operates in southern central regions of Somalia.
According to fellow journalists and his widow, Nur Muse Hussein, who worked for Radio Voice of Holy Quran in Mogadishu as their correspondent in Central regions, was deliberately shot and wounded wounded by one of the fighters after he and journalists who were with him had identified themselves as journalists. A passer by who was walking behind the journalists reportedly died on the spot from the bullets that came through Nur’s leg, Bullets fractured his right leg.
Nur Muse Hussein was in serious condition since the attack but his condition deteriorated in the last week, according to his widow. He was the father of 5 children
“Nur Muse Hussein paid dearly for his dedication to professional journalism. Today is another unforgettable and sad day for Somali journalists community,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General and President of federation of African Journalists (FAJ) “Nur is the fourth journalist that became victim in this year of crimes committed by gunmen in Somalia. The death of Nur Muse Hussein highlights the unacceptable, continuing and deliberate violence against journalists in Somalia.”
Abdirisak Warsameh Mohamed, nicknamed Gadao, of Radio Shabelle was shot dead on the morning of 22 May 2009 by forces fighting in the neighbourhoods near Bakara Market in Mogadishu. Three men with pistols assassinated the well-respected Said Tahlil Ahmed, director of HornAfrik Radio in Mogadishu, on 4 February 2009 and Hassan Mayow Hassan, a reporter for Radio Shabelle, was gunned down by a member of a pro-government militia in Afgoye, 30 kilometers south of Mogadishu on 1January 2009.
The IFJ renews its firm demand to Somali authorities to give top priority to the safety and the security of Somali journalists in order to guarantee press freedom in this country.
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The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide