The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today joined the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), its affiliate in the country, in condemning the murder of Abdirisaq Ali Abdi. The 25 year old journalist, who worked for Radio Daljir and London-based Horn TV, was shot dead yesterday 18 November in Galkayo, semi-autonomous Puntland region of central Somalia.
Media reports said that Abdirisaq Ali Abdi, also known as ‘Silver’, was shot five times by two gunmen in a restaurant around 19:10 local time and was taken to Mudug General Hospital, where he died later. “The assailants have escaped after the shooting but the police are still in pursuit of the perpetrators,” said a police official according to the media.
It is not clear what motivated the attack, but journalists have often been targeted since Somalia’s descent into conflict in the early 1990s.
“This latest cold-blood murder again shows the precarious security conditions that journalists continue to face in Galkayo,” said the NUSOJ Secretary General, Omar Faruk Osman. “Provincial authorities of Mudug region, particularly Galkayo authorities, must take charge of the investigation into Abdirisaq Ali Abdi’s brutal slaying and bring his killers to justice”.
NUSOJ added that this was not the first incident in Galkayo, as many journalists had been threatened, attacked, injured and even killed in the past. NUSOJ also reported that three other media workers had been wounded in Mogadishu, the capital of the country, in the last two months.
The IFJ supported NUSOJ’s call for accountability, noting that this killing occurs shortly after the world community marked the first UN Day against impunity for crime targeting journalists.
“We support NUSOJ’s demand for justice and urge the authorities to leave no stone unturned in finding and punishing the murderers,” added IFJ President, Jim Boumelha. “We also express our condolences to the family and colleagues of Ali Abdi.”
Abdirisaq Ali Abdi is the 101st journalist killed in 2014 and the third in Somalia, a war-ton country in the Horn of Africa and one of the most dangerous for journalists. None of the culprits had ever been arrested so far for journalists’ killings in Somalia. Ali Abdi was married and father of two sons. — IFJ