IFJ Condemns Killing of Radio Journalist as Wave of Violence in Somalia Claims Seventh Victim in 2007

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the shooting of a Somali radio journalist – the seventh killing this year - and reiterated calls for international action over the crisis in Somalia where reporters have become prime targets in spreading violence.

“This latest killing confirms our fears that journalism has become more dangerous than ever in Somalia,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “The deteriorating political crisis and increasing levels of violence make independent reporting almost impossible. International organisations need to think hard about action now to calm the situation.”

Abdulkadir Mahad Moallim Kaskey, the regional correspondent of Radio Banadir in the south-western province of Gedo, died after unknown gunmen opened fire on the minibus that he was riding in this morning in the village of El Ilan. Another passenger was wounded in the attack. This is the third media death in two weeks in southern Somalia and the seventh journalist killed this year says the IFJ.

"Deadly attacks on journalists and violations of press freedom are increasing day by day," said Omar Faruk Osman, Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ). “It’s time for the international community to investigate this crisis and do more to protect media staff.”

The IFJ supports this call for the UN and other bodies to act over the violence against media staff. The IFJ itself is planning a campaign to highlight attacks on press in Somalia.

“We need to do more to improve levels of safety for journalists and we need action to bring those responsible for this wave of violence to justice,” said White. “The scandal of impunity in the killing of journalists must be brought to an end.”

For more information contact the IFJ at 32 2 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 114 countries worldwide