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Court Orders Historic Investigation into Journalists’ Killings to Fight Impunity

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Banadir Regional Court has for the first time issued court order that directed the Attorney General Office (AGO) to urgently commence investigations into the killings of journalists to confront impunity and to bring the perpetrators before the court. 

The court order reads as follows: “In reference to the letter dated 20 May 2020 from the National Union of Somali Journalists whose subject was a request to take action against impunity of journalists’ killings, it is therefore ordered the Office of Attorney General to conduct urgent investigation as per attached letter, and the results of the investigation must be brought before Banadir Regional Court”.

The Chairperson of Banadir Regional Court Abdikhadar Mohamed Hassan had today handed the ruling to both the Attorney General office and NUSOJ and stressed that justice must be served for murdered journalists. 

“This court decision offers a crucial opportunity to break the cycle of impunity for crimes committed against journalists in Somalia. The many victim journalists who were killed because of their media work in this country deserve to finally have justice. Today, they are one step closer to that desired conclusion as we simply want the masterminds and perpetrators of journalists’ killings to be swiftly investigated, prosecuted and convicted,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. 

NUSOJ called on the Attorney General Office to proceed to conduct a diligent, independent, impartial, objective and thorough investigation into the killings of journalists in the past years in view of bringing perpetrators before justice, and to ensure the investigation advances as effectively and as efficiently as possible.

“We want to warn against powerful individuals who may want to politically try to come forward to interfere the investigations and the judicial proceedings, just to protect suspected perpetrators. They must desist from frustrating the pursuit of justice and accountability for journalists” declared Osman.