3 March 2016

Somalia: Somali Court Sentences Hassan Hanafi to Death for Killing Journalists

A Somali military court has sentenced to death a former journalist who helped al-Shabab kill five fellow reporters.

Hassan Hanafi assisted the Islamist militant group by indentifying possible targets amongst journalists between 2007 and 2011.

The chairman of Somali military court Hassan Ali Nur who read the verdict told reporters that Hassan Hanafi Hajji has confessed of murdering the following journalists.

Mahad Ahmed Elmi (2007)

Ali Iman Sharmarke (2007)

Said Tahlil Ahmed (2009)

Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe, Radio Shabelle director (2009)

Sheikh Nur Mohamed Abkey (2010).

He joined its armed wing after working for Radio Andalus, al-Shabab's mouthpiece in Somalia.

More than 25 journalists have been murdered in Somalia since 2007, the Committee to Protect Journalists says.

While he was working for al-Shabab, Hanafi would call up journalists and threaten them with death if they refused to join the militant group, the BBC Somali's Mohammud Ali says.

The court in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, ruled that he should be executed by firing squad.

Hanafi was arrested by police in 2014 in neighbouring Kenya, where he had fled, and was then transferred to Somalia.

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