Nairobi, October 29, 2012--Somali authorities should conduct a thorough investigation into the October 21 shooting of journalist Mohamed Mohamud "Turyare," who died from his wounds on Sunday, and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Mohamed, 22, a reporter and website editor for the Shabelle Media Network, had been shot by unidentified gunmen in the Hawo Tako neighborhood in the Wadajir district of Mogadishu, according to local journalists and news reports. He was hospitalized for abdominal surgery, and local journalists told CPJ his health was improving until Saturday afternoon. He died at around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, the journalists said.
Three other Shabelle Media Network journalists were killed earlier this year, according to CPJ research. In January, unidentified gunmen killed Hassan Osman Abdi, the former Shabelle director. Two months later, three assailants shot dead Mahad Salad Adan, a 20-year-old Shabelle correspondent, near his home. In May, four gunmen killed Shabelle presenter and producer Ahmed Addow Anshur in a market in Mogadishu.
"We mourn the death of Mohamed Mohamud 'Turyare' and send our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues," said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes. "This has been the deadliest year for Somali journalists ever recorded by CPJ. This record fatality rate underlines the urgency with which authorities must act to secure conditions in Somalia, especially in the capital."
At least 10 other journalists have been killed in Somalia in 2012, seven in the capital, CPJ research shows. This is the worst year for the press in the country. CPJ ranks Somalia as the deadliest country for the press in Africa and the second deadliest in the world.
Somali police spokesman Abdullah Hassan held a press conference on October 23, claiming that four alleged Al-Shabaab militants had been arrested for several murders, including those of journalists, news reports said. Authorities did not identify the specific journalist murder cases. The four suspects have not denied or admitted to the charges, the reports said. But local journalists said they were skeptical because, on at least two occasions, police have released journalist murder suspects before they were even taken to court.
- For more data and analysis on Somalia, visit CPJ's Somalia page here.