Radio journalist Abdullahi Mire Hashi was gunned down by at least two men on October 27, 2018, in the town of Elisha Bihaya, about 17 km from the Somali capital Mogadishu, according to media reports and two local press rights groups.
The journalist was a producer and show host on the privately owned religious station Darul Sunnah, according to Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, a journalist who was following the case and with whom CPJ spoke.
Ismail Sheikh Khalifa, chair of the advocacy group Human Rights Journalists (HRJ), and Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, secretary-general of the government-recognized National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), told CPJ that he was shot after attending afternoon prayers at a mosque near his radio station. A report by HRJ said Abdullahi was “shot twice on the head by unidentified men with pistols,” and that he was shot “as he came out of a mosque close to the radio station where he said his afternoon prayers.”
The gunmen fled the scene immediately after the attack, Ismail and Mohamed said. Abdullahi sustained injuries to his head and his chest and died on the way to the hospital, according to Abdalle.
Abdullahi produced and hosted the daily show “This Morning on Darul Sunnah,” during which listeners could call in to provide updates and describe the conditions of their part of town, according to Mohamed and Abdalle. Callers would discuss anything from whether schools were open and public transport was functioning to the state of security and business, Abdalle told CPJ.
Ismail told CPJ that at least three local journalists, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal, told him that Abdullahi had said he received anonymous phone calls questioning why the station was not broadcasting the militant group Al-Shabaab’s operations in the region.
Elasha Bihaya is in an insecure region that hosts a military base for the African Union Mission to Somalia, which has been the site of attacks by Al-Shabaab.
An October 28 report by the Kenyan-based newspaper The East African said that no group had taken responsibility for the attack. In late October 2018, Abdirahman Yusuf al-Adala, the director general of the Somali federal ministry of information, told CPJ that the attack looked like terrorist action. He said the government had condemned the killing and that security services were investigating.
As of December 2018, no one had been arrested in connection to the case, according to Ismail. As of early December 2018, Abdirahaman had not responded to CPJ’s requests for updates on this case.