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Somali journalist shot to death after returning from exile in Uganda

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) expresses outrage and strongly condemns the 21 April 2013 killing of senior journalist Mohamed Ibrahim Rageh in Mogadishu, in what has been a series of targeted attacks against journalists in this year. 

Mohamed Ibrahim Rageh, a newscaster, reporter and program producer for Radio Mogadishu and Somali National Television (SNTV) – government managed media – was returning home from Radio Mogadishu when two men armed with pistols followed and shot him in the chest and head seven times at around 6 p.m. local time, killing him instantly in Ma'ma'anka neighborhood of Dharkenley district, according to his family. 

The assailants reportedly trailed Rageh from the main Ma'ma'anka Street and started opening fire at him when he was entering the gate of his house, in front of his family. 

“We condemn the killing of Mohamed Ibrahim Rageh and extend our condolences to his family. We demand swift action from the federal government to check this deplorable trend in which journalists are being targeted mercilessly,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. “Stern action must be taken against those bent upon gagging freedom of the press by eliminating journalists”. 

Mohamed Ibrahim Rageh was one of the members of NUSOJ's Banadir Branch and he was among the fifteen journalists who resigned from their work in 2009 due to increased killings and deadly threats received from Al-Shabaab militants. At that time he had been working for Radio Shabelle. 

In August 2009 the union, with the help of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), evacuated him to Kampala, Uganda, for safety reasons. But he recently came back from Uganda to take up a job at Radio Mogadishu. 

The local police cordoned off the area of his house as a crime scene, but no arrests have been made and Al-Shabaab has swiftly claimed responsibility for the killing. Killers escaped from the scene. 

Dharkenley and Wadajir districts, formerly known Madina district, are places where most journalists were targeted in Mogadishu. “The government should take strict action against the killers who go scot-free after committing crimes in these two districts,” added Osman. 

Rageh, 38, is the fourth journalist to be killed in Mogadishu in this year following the death of Abdihared Osman Adan on 18 January, Mohamed Ali Nuhurkey on 18 March and Rahmo Abdulkadir on 25 March. He is survived by his two daughters and their mother.