News from Africa

UN Special Representative for Somalia statement on the rise of killings of Somali journalists

Somalia

Témoignages.re / 1 October 2012

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Dr. Augustine P. Mahiga, is shocked and alarmed by the recent wave of journalist killings in Mogadishu over the last few days.

SRSG Mahiga strongly condemns the killing of Abdirahman Mohamed Ali, a sports journalist whose body reportedly was found yesterday evening beheaded at a former animal market in Mogadishu and of Ahmed Abdullahi Fanah, a reporter for Yemeni news agency SABA who was shot dead earlier today.

“I am appalled by the rise of violence targeting media professionals in Somalia” said SRSG Mahiga. Since 20 September, 2012 five journalists have been killed in Mogadishu.

“I send my deepest condolences to the families of the victims and the Somali media community which has endured death threats, intimidation and assassination attempts for too long; with courage and determination.” SRSG Mahiga added.

The total number of Somali journalists killed this year only has now risen to 15 while more than 20 have been reportedly injured. The UN has repeatedly called on the Somali authorities to conduct independent and swift investigations on the killings and to bring an end to the cycle of violence and to impunity.

“Somalia has entered a new phase. The media needs to be protected in order for the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the press to be exercised” said SRSG Mahiga while he added that “these are preconditions for the construction of a healthy democratic state.”

UNPOS reiterates its call on the Somali authorities to improve its police investigative capacity and stands ready to assist whenever possible.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, October 1, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)

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