CPJ calls for an investigation into Somali journalist’s murder

New York, June 9, 2008—CPJ calls for a thorough investigation into the June 7 killing of Somali journalist Nasteh Dahir Farah. Dahir, vice chairman of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), was shot by two men while walking home from an Internet cafe at around 7 p.m. near his home in Kismayo, local journalists told CPJ.

Dahir was rushed to the local hospital, but died due to blood loss 10 minutes later, the NUSOJ reported. Prior to his death, Dahir had told the medical staff that two men had shot him with AK-47s, nurse Ahmed Said Ali told the AP. Gun cartridges and remnants of the drug qat were found in the area where the murder took place, HornAfrik reported.

“CPJ mourns the loss of our colleague, Nasteh Dahir and sends our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and colleagues,” said CPJ’s Africa Program Coordinator, Tom Rhodes. “We call on Kismayo officials to do everything in their power to track down and bring to justice Dahir’s murderers.”

The motive behind the killing is still unknown. Dahir was reporting on a recent conflict over the distribution of port tax revenue in Kismayo, the second largest port city in Somalia, Abdi Aynte, a correspondent for the BBC told CPJ. Dahir was a contributor to several media outlets, including the BBC and The New York Times.

His death came a day after Dahir expressed fear for his life in Kismayo amid escalating insecurity. “I do not know if I can work in this hostile environment anymore. I am so scared,” Dahir told Agence France-Presse one day before his murder.

Dahir contributed to CPJ’s Spring/Summer 2008 issue of Dangerous Assignments; he wrote a piece on Somali National News Agency reporter Hassan Hared, who was killed earlier this year in Kismayo.

The journalist is survived by his wife, Idil Farey, who is six months pregnant with the young couple’s second child. Their oldest child, a son, is 10 months old.

CPJ ranked Somalia the second-deadliest country in the world for journalists last year, after Iraq.