Somali journalist shot by gunmen in Mogadishu

Nairobi, April 14, 2015The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the shooting attack on a Somali photographer in Mogadishu and calls on authorities to thoroughly investigate the case and ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice. Farhan Suleiman Dahir works for the state-run Radio Mogadishu, whose journalists have been targeted several times in recent years.

“Journalists like Farhan Suleiman Dahir are consistently targeted in Somalia with little follow-up by authorities,” said CPJ East Africa Representative Tom Rhodes. “We call on the Somali government to do its utmost to investigate and ensure the attackers are brought to justice or there is no hope that the cycle of impunity will be broken.”

Two gunmen shot Farhan in the Hodan district of the capital on Friday evening as he was returning home from work, according to news reports and four local journalists who spoke to CPJ. The assailants fled the scene before police arrived, the same sources said.

Farhan was taken to a local hospital where he is receiving treatment for injuries to his arms, chest, back, and head, local journalists who visited him in the hospital told CPJ. Doctors removed a bullet from the journalist’s skull and another from his kidney. He is in critical condition, the sources said.

Farhan, a photographer for the websites of Radio Mogadishu and the state-run Somali National Television, often traveled with military convoys to cover clashes between government troops and Al-Shabaab militants, the local journalists said. They told CPJ they suspected that Al-Shabaab militants had targeted Farhan because he worked for state-run media. The journalists said they did not know if Farhan had received any threats before the attack.

Both Radio Mogadishu and Somali National Television report to the Ministry of Information. Abdirahman Yusuf, director of the outlets, did not immediately respond to CPJ’s calls or emails requesting comment.

Farhan started working for Radio Mogadishu in January 2013, local journalists said. Prior to his work with the radio station, Farhan contributed to several news websites.

Militants suspected of being affiliated with Al-Shabaab have targeted state radio reporters in recent years, according to CPJ research. Three Radio Mogadishu journalists have been killed since 2009, CPJ research shows. In April 2013, two gunmen shot dead Radio Mogadishu and SNTV reporter and producer Mohamed Ibrahim Raage just outside his home in Mogadishu, according to news reports.

Somalia is the deadliest country in Africa for journalists, according to CPJ research.

  • For more data and analysis on Somalia, visit CPJ’s Somalia page here.