Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said it is outraged by radio journalist Abdiaziz Mohamed Ali’s execution-style murder yesterday evening in Mogadishu and calls for a rapid investigation to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.
Aged 35, Abdiaziz Mohamed Ali produced and presented a morning news programme on Radio Shabelle, a Mogadishu-based independent radio station. Men on a motorcycle gunned him down in the capital’s Yaqshid district as he was on his way to visit his parents. It was Radio Shabelle that broke the news of his murder.
“He was a professional journalist who was dedicated to his work,” Radio Shabelle owner Abdimalik Yusuf Mohamud told Reuters. He added that he did not know why Ali was targeted.
The police said the murder was carried out by two gunmen who got away. No one has claimed his death.
“We urge the authorities to quickly launch an investigation and give it the necessary resources so that those responsible can be identified and brought to trial,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of RSF’s Africa desk.
“Murders of journalists are rarely investigated and this just perpetuates impunity for this type of crime. It is vital that, despite limited resources, the Somali government should adopt credible measures to investigate these murders in order to send a clear message that it will not tolerate this type of violence.”
Part of the Shabelle Media Network, Radio Shabelle is a leading Somali broadcaster that is exposed to violence. Many of its employees have been killed in similar attacks in recent years. According to RSF’s tally, ten of the group’s journalists, including three of its directors, have been murdered since 2006.
They include Bashir Nur Gedi, who was slain by a group of young gunmen on 19 October 2007, Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe, who was shot four times in the chest in a Mogadishu market on 7 June 2009, and Hassan Osman Abdi, who was murdered outside his home on 28 January 2012.
Ali is the second journalist to be murdered in Somalia this year. As RSF reported at the time, Radio Mogadishu producer and presenter Sagal Salad Osman was gunned down in the capital in June.
A report on freedom of expression in Somalia published by the United Nations last month stressed the need to bring those responsible for human rights violations to account.
Somalia is ranked 167th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.