Published On: Fri, Oct 7th, 2016

Press freedom bodies call for inquiry into Somali journalist’s murder

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Press freedom bodies have called on the Somali authorities to investigate the murder of radio journalist Abdiaziz Mohamed Ali Haji.

The host of a morning news programme for Radio Shabelle was shot dead by gunmen on motorbikes while travelling in the north of Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, said one of the station’s producers, Abdirizak Turyare.

Radio Shabelle’s owner, Abdimalik Yusuf Mohamud, told Reuters that Abdiaziz, who was 35, was “a professional journalist who was dedicated to his work”.

This is the second killing of a Somali radio journalist this year. In June, Sagal Salad Osman, who worked for the state-run Radio Mogadishu, was shot as she left her university campus.

Both the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) registered their outrage at the killing of Abdiaziz.

Murithi Mutiga, CPJ’s East Africa representative, said: “We urge Somali authorities to leave no stone unturned in determining the motive for Abdiaziz’s and Sagal’s killings and prosecuting those responsible”.

Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of RSF’s Africa desk, also called on the Somali authorities to launch an investigation. She said: “It is vital that, despite limited resources, the Somali government should adopt credible measures to investigate these murders in order to send a clear message that it will not tolerate this type of violence.”

The Somali authorities have repeatedly shut down Radio Shabelle and arrested its staff. Its journalists have often been targeted and killed, CPJ research shows.

According to RSF’s tally, 10 of the Shabelle media group’s journalists, including three of its directors, have been murdered since 2006.

CPJ named Somalia as the worst offender in its 2015 global impunity index, and it is ranked 167th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 world press freedom index.

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