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