24 May 2012

Somalia: Reporters Without Borders Condemns Murder of Shabelle Journalist

Photo: Kate Holt/IRIN
Soldier on patrol along the frontline between AMISOM forces and Al Shabab militia in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Reporters Without Borders is dismayed to learn that Radio Shabelle journalist Ahmed Ado Anshur was gunned down on his way home today inMogadishu, one of the world's 10 most dangerous places for the media. He was crossing Suq Bocle market in the district of Dharkenley when he was shot several times in the head and the chest by at least two unidentified gunmen, dying on the spot.

"Anshur is the sixth journalist to be slain since the start of the year inSomalia, where working as reporter is synonymous with deadly danger," Reporters Without Borders said. "All of the previous murders are still unpunished, so we again urge the police and judicial authorities to carry out proper investigations and to deploy all necessary resources to protect journalists.

"Failure to act in a country that is prey to widespread violence means giving a carte blanche to the enemies of media freedom. We offer our condolences to Anshur's family and friends, and to his colleagues at Radio Shabelle, who have been paying a high price for their professionalism and independence for years."

Aged around 20, Anshur hosted a popular programme called Qubanaha Wararka and had a reputation for being outspoken when conducting interviews on the political situation. He had received death threats after doing reports on government corruption together with Hassan Osman Abdi, a Radio Shabelle journalist who was gunned down in January.

Anshur's murder comes just three weeks after Radio Daljir journalist Farhan James Abdulle was gunned down in similar circumstances on the outskirts of the north-central city of Galkayo on 2 May.

Six other Radio Shabelle journalists have been murdered in the past five years.

They are:

- Mahad Salad Adan, on 5 April 2012 in Beledweyn, the capital of the central region of Hiran.

- Hassan Osman Abdi, on 28 January 2012 in Mogadishu.

- Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe, on 7 June 2009 in Mogadish.

- Abdirisak Warsameh Mohamed, on 22 May 2009 in Mogadishu.

- Hassan Mayow Hassan, on 1 January 2009 in Afgoye, 30 km south of Mogadishu.

- Bashir Nur Gedi, on 19 October 2007 in Mogadishu.

Somalia is ranked 164th out of 179 countries in the latest Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

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