New York, September 15, 2011–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Wednesday evening shooting of a Somali radio journalist in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, and calls on the government to immediately take steps to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Unknown gunmen shot 20-year-old radio journalist Horriyo Abdulkadir Sheik Ali four times on Wednesday evening as she left her office at Radio Galkayo, the state broadcaster in the Garsoor neighborhood of Galkayo, local journalists told CPJ. She was hospitalized in stable condition with wounds to the stomach, chest, and right hand, news reports said.
“We are disturbed by the shooting of Horriyo Abdulkadir Sheik Ali and hope for her speedy recovery,” said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes. “Puntland authorities must double their efforts to seek the perpetrators of this act and ensure journalists are allowed to report on the current conflict without fear of reprisal.”
Abdulkadir was the news editor, producer, and presenter for Radio Galkayo and a correspondent for the Mogadishu-based Radio Risaale. Abdallah Ahmed, her colleague at Radio Risaale, said she had complained of repeated threats by unknown callers over her coverage of the conflict between government troops and militias led by Sheikh Mohamed Said Atom. According to local journalists, several Puntland-based reporters have faced phone threats by unknown callers over their coverage of the conflict.
Abdulkadir was taken to the private Galkayo Medical Centre, where she remained unconscious but in a stabilized condition after surgery on Wednesday night, local journalists told CPJ. Staff members at Radio Risaale organized a fundraiser to help her with her medical bills, local journalists said.
Abdulkadir reported on the ongoing conflict in Galkayo, particularly focusing on the plight of defenseless civilians caught in the middle of the conflict, Ahmed told CPJ.
Last month, a remotely detonated bomb blew up the main doorway of the private station Radio Daljir in Galkayo, local journalists told CPJ. In August last year, authorities imprisoned the deputy director of Horseed FM, Abdifatah Jama, for two months for allowing an interview with an Islamic rebel leader. Jama was released by presidential pardon in October.