The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) demands for an immediate and credible inquiry, into the circumstances surrounding the near-fatal shooting today, of journalist Ahmed Omar Nur, a cameraman working for M24 TV.
Shortly after 10:30am on 21 August 2022, soldiers identified as belonging to the Haramcad police Unit opened fire at point-blank range, targeting Ahmed Omar Nur, as he covered the aftermath of the deadly siege on Hayat Hotel.
The journalist sustained injuries to the mouth, where one bullet logged after knocking out some of his teeth. Nur was immediately evacuated to Madina Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to extract the bullet and continues to receive treatment.
“We are puzzled and disturbed by this attack by elements of the security services, targeting a journalist, who was clearly identifiable by his equipment as a member of the press. This attack in broad daylight is all the more disturbing, because there was no active combat at the time it happened to the journalist who only carried a TV camera and did not pose any threat to anyone,” commented NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman.
NUSOJ strongly condemns this violence on a member of the fourth estate, which strives to keep the people of Somalia informed under very difficult and dangerous circumstances. According to eye-witness accounts, the suspects even argued between themselves prior to opening fire, suggesting that this was a premeditated action.
“We demand for a full and credible inquiry that should result in accountability for this flagrant display of impunity and unacceptable endangerment of the life of the journalist. The inquiry should examine the entire chain of command in this operation and not just the foot soldiers who pulled the trigger,” Osman added.
NUSOJ would like to use this unfortunate incident, to remind journalists once again, of the need to take extreme precautions when operating in dangerous environments.
Since the onset of the siege on Hayat Hotel on Friday evening, NUSOJ has been passing private and public appeals and messages to journalists and managers at media houses to avoid unnecessary exposure of the security operations at Hayat Hotel, in order to avoid tragedies such as the one witnessed today.