Nine journalists killed in Somalia


The number of journalists killed around the world rose to a record 70 in 2009, largely in part due to a slaughter in Somalia and the Philippines, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said. Somalia was the second most deadly country for journalists with nine media deaths in 2009.

According to the press group, those fighting in Somalia have carried attacks against the Somali press, murdering journalists and seizing news outlets.

On 3rd December, three Somali journalists were killed in same place after suicide bomb hit at a university graduation ceremony in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

Al Arabia camera journalist Hassan Zubeyr Haji and Mohamed Amin Adan shabelle reporter were among those killed in suicide bomb in Mogadishu including a freelancer. More than five other journalists were wounded in the event. The CPJ lists Somalia in 2009 as the seventh most deadly nation in the world for journalists.

A journalist Mohamud Mohamed Yusuf who was working for a local FM called IQK in Mogadishu was killed on 4th July, and in June unknown gunmen shot dead Muktar Mohamed Hirabe, director of Shabelle Media Network, one of the largest media houses in Somalia, while he was walking in the main market Bakara area, insurgent stronghold area. In that event, another Shabelle journalist Ahmed Omar Hashi-Ahmed Tajir was also wounded.

More deaths

The correspondent of Mogadishu based Radio IQK Nur Muse Hussein died in the centre town of Beledweyn, some 300 kilometres (180 miles) north of the capital of war-torn nation in the Horn of Africa as he was reporting the fight between government forces and the insurgents in town in May 26, 2009.

Abdirisak Mohamed Warsame of Radio Shabelle was also shot dead on May 22 during fierce fighting in Mogadishu. On February 2nd, Said Tahlil Ahmed, the director of Horn Afrik Radio, was assassinated in Mogadishu after the killing of another Radio Shabelle journalist Hassan Mayow Hassan on 1st January.

According to the report, the “most shocking statistics” of 2009 was in the Philippines, where around 38 journalists and media staff were killed in cold blood, mostly in a massacre in Maguindanao province on November 23.

In the last three years, most of old Somali journalists fled the country because of attacks and harassment but young journalists have taken over their works.

The young journalists are risking theirs lives and working under dangerous conditions.

Most of the exiled journalists are now living in Kenya, our correspondent said.

Abdirahman Sharif Mohamed, an exiled journalist in Nairobi told Africa News that they need a lot of assistance to survive in Kenya. “Two years in here, Nairobi, we got no aid except refugee status” said Mohamed.