IFJ Condemns Killing of Journalist in Somalia

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today condemned the murder of Hassan Mayow Hassan, a Somali journalist, who was shot dead in the Afgoye District of lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia.

"We strongly condemn this killing which marks a violent start of the year for journalists in Somalia," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "There is an urgent need to end violence against journalists in Somalia and all warring factions must refrain from targeting the media. We will redouble our efforts to assist Somali journalists who, only a few days ago, took to the street to demand protection and right to report freely."

According to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), Hassan, 36 and journalist of Radio Shabelle was shot in the head twice today by a well known militiaman as he was with colleagues on their way to cover a conflict between two armed groups in the Shabelle region, 30 km south of Mogadishu.

The IFJ supports the call from the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) for the international community to help bring Hassan's killer to justice.

"The facts of this particular killing are horrifying. This was brutal and cold murder. The United Nations and the African Union must help the Somali interim government to bring the killer to justice," Added White.

On 31 December, the IFJ published a list of journalists and media personnel killed during 2008, including two journalists from Somalia.

"The African Union and world community must do all they can to create conditions which enable journalists in Somalia to work without fear for their lives," said Omar Faruk Osman, FAJ President.

For more information contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide