Nairobi, September 28, 2012—Two Somali journalists have been killed in Mogadishu in the past 24 hours, one in a brutal targeted attack, according to local journalists and news reports.
Local residents found the decapitated body of Abdirahman Mohamed, 26, a reporter for the sports news website Ciyaarahamaanta, near a restaurant next to Suqa Holaha, a local livestock market, in the Huriwa district on Thursday, local journalists told CPJ. Unknown gunmen had abducted Abdirahman that day as he was visiting a relative’s house, the journalists said. Abdirahman was found with his hands tied behind his back and his severed head on his chest, the journalists said.
The motive for the killing was not clear and no group has claimed responsibility, according to news reports. CPJ is investigating the case to determine whether it was related to the journalist’s work.
“We call on Somali authorities to investigate the killing of Abdirahman Mohamed in Mogadishu, a government-controlled area,” said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes. “This is the most dangerous year for Somali journalists ever recorded by CPJ, and the violence is having a clear effect on the ability and willingness of journalists to gather and report the news.”
Separately, unidentified gunmen in military uniforms this morning shot dead Ahmed Abdulahi, a reporter for the Yemeni news agency, SABA, according to local journalists and news reports. Abdulahi was on a bus on his way to work when a dispute between the driver and a militia group guarding the checkpoint occurred, local journalists told CPJ. Gunmen opened fire on the bus, and Abdulahi was shot in the head. It wasn’t immediately clear whether anyone else on the bus was killed.
Ten journalists have been killed in Somalia this year in direct relation to their work, with four deaths last week in Mogadishu within a 24-hour period. Several local journalists have told CPJ they are suspending their work temporarily because of the recent attacks. CPJ ranks Somalia as the most dangerous country to practice journalism in Africa.
- For more data and analysis on Somalia, visit CPJ’s Somalia page here.