Alerts   |   Somalia

Authorities must investigate murder of Somali journalist

Mourners carry the coffin of Somali journalist Mohamed Ibrahim Raage in Jazira on the outskirts of Mogadishu on Monday. (AFP/Mohamed Abdiwahab)

Nairobi, April 22, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Somali authorities to keep their promise to prosecute journalists' killers by investigating the murder of Mohamed Ibrahim Raage. Two unidentified gunmen shot Mohamed around 5:30 p.m. Sunday near his home in Mogadishu's Dharkenley district, according to local journalists.

Mohamed, better known by his nickname "Honest," had just completed work at state-run Radio Mogadishu in the capital when the gunmen attacked him on his way home, Radio Mogadishu Director Abdirahim Isse said. An experienced journalist who formerly worked as a reporter at Radio Shabelle, Mohamed had recently started work as a reporter and producer for Radio Mogadishu and Somali National Television, local journalists said. Mohamed primarily covered government and parliamentary affairs, according to local journalists and news reports.

Mohamed Ibrahim Raage (NUSOJ)

"We send our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of Mohamed Ibrahim," said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes. "The government has made a firm pledge to root out the perpetrators who target journalists, and now is the time to honor that commitment by ensuring those responsible for Mohamed's death are brought to book."

Mohamed, along with 14 other journalists, had left Mogadishu in 2009 because of the dangerous situation there. He lived in exile in Kampala, Uganda, returning only recently to Somalia, local journalists told CPJ. The reporter, 34, is survived by his pregnant wife and two daughters, local journalists said. 

Twelve journalists were murdered for their work in Somalia in 2012, the worst year on record. CPJ research shows that more than 20 journalist murders over the past decade have gone unsolved. In light of this record of impunity, authorities recently set up a task force to investigate cases of killed journalists.

Although the government largely ousted Islamic militants from Mogadishu in 2011, the capital remains violent. On April 14, gunmen attacked Somalia's Supreme Court, killing more than 30 people, including former journalist Mohamed Hassan Habeeb and well-known lawyers Mohamed Mohamud and Abikarin Hassan. The two lawyers were known for their role in defending Somali journalist Abdiaziz Abdinuur, who was imprisoned earlier this year for interviewing an alleged rape victim.

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