IFJ denounces savage assassination of leading Somali journalist

Two men armed with pistols shot and killed Somali radio journalist Abdiasis Mohamed Ali, widely known as Haji, in Mogadishu on Tuesday, 27th 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 Yaqshid district in northern Mogadishu, shortly after 6pm, local time, as he left the radio 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) 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 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.

“Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists” stressed Anthony Bellanger, IFJ General Secretary. 

“We demand an end to crisis of impunity in Somalia which sees local journalists killed in targeted assassinations each year by ruthless and undemocratic forces who must be brought to justice”.

The IFJ denounces once again the impunity which benefits journalists' murderers in Somalia, and in many countries. The IFJ demands the Somali authorities, and the international organisations present in Somalia to protect human rights of journalists and do everything in their capacity to investigate Abdiasis Mohamed’s murder, to find his assassins, to prosecute them and to have them punished.

“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 due to upcoming indirect national elections providing the environment for politically motivated assassins to eliminate defenceless journalists in order to send a political message,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

"Our colleagues are being attacked with impunity and the government has abysmally failed to ensure its primary responsibility of protecting working journalists," added Osman. "We will not stand by as these devastating attacks on journalists and on journalism continue".

This horrific killing happened as the UN Human Rights Council is set to consider later today the human rights situation in Somalia. The IFJ and its affiliate NUSOJ will be addressing the Council to demand the protection of journalists and an end to impunity.

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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