19 November 2014
The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is shocked and saddened to learn of the gruesome killing of journalist Abdirisaq Ali Abdi in Somalia’s Galkayo town on Tuesday evening, 18 November 2014.
Murdered journalist, Abdirisaq Ali Abdi who was widely nicknamed “Silver”, was attacked by two armed men in a Galkayo restaurant and was shot five times at around 19:10hrs local time, according to local journalists. He was rushed to Mudug General Hospital where he died.
“This latest cold-blooded murder again shows the precarious security conditions that journalists continue to face in Galkayo,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. “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”.
When killed, Abdi was working as a stringer for Puntland-based Radio Daljir and Hargeisa-based HornCable TV. Earlier he worked for Radio Galkayo. This was not the first incident in Galkayo as many journalists had been threatened, attacked, injured and even killed in the past.
“Our colleagues in Galkayo are being attacked with impunity and the authorities must do more,” Osman added. “We will not stand by as these devastating attacks on journalists and on journalism continue.”
The journalist community in Galkayo is shocked by this latest attack and there is widespread concern that many more journalists are at risk. Despite tall claims by the authorities in Galkayo for providing protection to the journalists, many journalists have been killed and wounded, but not a single culprit has far been nabbed.
Strongly condemning this latest murder, Ahmed Mohamed Ali, Director of Radio Voice of Peace in Galkayo said “such incidents cannot stop us from performing our duties with honesty and dedication, rather we want to tell those elements, behind the murder of Abdirisaq Ali Abdi and other journalists that, such murders cannot pave hurdles in our way”.
Awil Mohamud, Director of Radio Galkayo, and a close colleague of Abdirisaq Ali Abdi said “we would like to let them (killers) know that, we will not succumb to their heinous designs and will continue our professional work and will not hesitate to lay our lives in this noble cause”.
Galkayo has one of Somalia’s worst records of impunity in the case of journalists’ deaths, with killings of journalists unprosecuted. It continues to be the second most deadly town for journalists in the country after Mogadishu. The union considers this attack a continuing trend and none of the culprits had ever been arrested.
Abdirisaq Ali Abdi, 25, was married and left two sons. He had worked in journalism for a decade and was the main breadwinner for his family.