Thursday, February 5, 2009

2nd Journalist Killed in Somalia This Year


For the second time in as many months a journalist has been killed in Somalia.

Said Tahliil Ahmed, director of HornAfrik, a radio and TV station in Mogadishu, was killed, apparently as a result of his station's extensive coverage of the peace process there.

"We condemn this murder which is the result of the lawlessness in Somalia," said Gabriel Baglo, director of the International Federal of Journalists' Africa office. "Criminal organizations are on a killing spree in Somalia and ... journalists are clearly in their sights."

According to the National Union of Somali Journalists Ahmed was killed near the Bakare market in central Mogadishu by three unidentified gunmen who shot him four times in the head. It is suspected that militia groups opposed to the peace talks which took place in neighboring Djibouti could be linked to his murder. Some of these groups had reportedly warned media organisations in Somalia against reporting on the peace process.

On New Year's Day Hassan Mayow Hassan of Radio Shabelle in Afgooye, southwest of Mogadishu was shot dead by a pro-government militia.

"The new Somali authorities must reign in these criminal gangs who are terrorizing media,"added Baglo. "There are important stories to report on in Somalia and journalists cannot do their job properly while under threat of death."

The IFJ reports worldwide, at least 109 reporters and media workers were killed either intentionally or accidentally last year while on assignment.


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