Reporters Without Borders is shocked to learn that Shabelle Media Network radio and TV presenter Abdihared Osman Adan was fatally shot three times by unidentified gunmen while on his way to work this morning in Mogadishu. He died at the city's Medina Hospital as doctors were about to operate.
"At a time when the world's eyes are turned to Africa, the international community needs to react to this death by pressing Somalia to take energetic measures in response to the constant violence against journalists," Reporters Without Borders said.
"Working as a journalist in Somalia requires permanent courage and determination. The attacks against them are targeted and unpredictable, and go unpunished. We urge the government to respond to the distress call from the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) for the creation of a special force to protect journalists".
Aged 45, Adan was an active member of NUSOJ, the Reporters Without Borders partner organization in Somalia. He was one of the few Shabelle Media Network journalists not to live on the premises. Almost all of the news outlet's employees prefer to live there full-time because it is protected and because the streets are so dangerous for them.
Three of its journalists were murdered in 2012: Hassan Osman Abdi, its director, in January, Ahmed Ado Anshur in May and Mohamed Mohamud Turyare in October. In all, its employees have been the targets of half a dozen cases of violence, threats and intimidation in the past 12 months.
Shabelle Media Network's radio station, Radio Shabelle, won the Reporters Without Borders press freedom prize in 2010.
This year has not begun well for the Somali media. Abdulaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, a journalist working for two radio stations, Dalsan and Ergo, has been held at the Central Investigation Department (CID) since 10 January after interviewing a woman who said she was raped by soldiers. Three other journalists were briefly detained. The victim finally withdrew her complaint after several days of police harassment.
With 18 journalists killed in connection with their work in 2012, Somalia was Africa's deadliest country for the media and the world's second-most dangerous country for news providers, after Syria.