The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) welcomes the conviction of four men today, by the Puntland military court for Mudug and Ayn regions, for their role in the March 1, 2021 killing of veteran journalist Jamal Farah Adan in Galkayo.
The convicts, who were arrested on 6 March 2021, were sentenced to punishments ranging from time in prison, to death, on their own plea of guilt. Adde Abdullahi Mohamed and Abdiqani Saleban Jama aka Sayloor, were handed the maximum penalty of death after they confessed to killing Jamal Farah Adan. The court also sentenced Hassan Jama Mohamed aka Hassan Nur to 25 years in prison, and Mohamed Ali Ahmed to 15 years for their role in plotting the assassination of the late journalist. The four convicts also confessed to their membership of and allegiance to the terror organisation Al-Shabaab.
“We welcome the convictions as a positive step in the search for justice for Jamal Farah Adan and a strong signal against the rampant impunity and crimes committed against journalists in Somalia” said NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman. “Galkayo has been the second most dangerous place to be a journalist in Somalia after Mogadishu as several journalists were cold-bloodedly murdered with absolute impunity”.
“However, as a union that advocates for human dignity, NUSOJ takes exception to the death penalty handed to two of the convicts. We categorically oppose the death penalty or capital punishment which we view as inhuman and cruel. We hope the death penalties can be commuted to custodial punishment on appeal,” Osman said.
Jamal Farah Adan, 56, was gunned down at about 18:45 hours as he sat on the porch at a shop in Mudug on March 1, 2021. The unprovoked attack was connected to his work on radio where he advocated for peace and condemned the use of violence by Al-Shabaab to achieve political ends.
“As we applaud the authorities in Puntland for bringing Adan’s killers to justice, we also call on the Federal government and other Federal Member States to bring to book offenders and to put in place strong measures to curb attacks against journalists. Efforts should start by ensuring that members of the security services that have been involved in attacks against journalists are put to trial as a way of creating a deterrent against impunity by members of the regimented services, no matter how politically inconvenient” Osman averred.
NUSOJ has just released its 2021 annual safety report, which paints a disturbing picture of unmitigated attacks against journalists by both state and non-state actors, including the killing of Jamal Farah Adan.