Martin Adler

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Adler, 47, an award-winning Swedish journalist and photographer, was
shot by an unidentified gunman while filming a demonstration in the
Somali capital. He was a longtime contributor to Britain’s Channel 4
News. At the time of death, he was freelancing for several newspapers
including the Swedish daily Aftonbladet.

An Associated Press reporter who witnessed the murder said the gunman
came up from behind Adler and shot him in the back at close range
before disappearing into the crowd. Adler died instantly. He was
covering a demonstration organized by the Islamic Courts Union, which
seized control of Mogadishu on June 5 from warlords backed by the
United States. Several reports said he was filming demonstrators
burning U.S. and Ethiopian flags. The National Union of Somali
Journalists reported that Adler was standing in the crowd, not in the
heavily guarded area where many other journalists and Islamic courts
leaders were standing.

The rally, attended by thousands, was in support of a peace agreement
reached June 22 in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, between the Islamic
courts and Somalia’s transitional government. Demonstrators also
protested against suggestions that foreign peacekeepers be sent to
Somalia, according to the BBC. Anti-foreigner sentiment had been stoked
by reports that some warlords had gotten CIA financing to help capture
suspected al-Qaeda members in Somalia. International journalists had
been stoned and harassed while reporting on demonstrations, AP said.

In a statement, Britain’s Independent Television News company called
Adler “a long-term friend” who had “contributed outstanding journalism
and filmmaking.” Adler won many international awards, including the
2001 Amnesty International Media Award, a Silver Prize for
investigative journalism at the 2001 New York Film Festival, and the
2004 Rory Peck Award for hard news for a report that that exposed
abuses by U.S. troops in Iraq. He had worked in more than two dozen war
zones, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Rwanda, Congo, and Sierra

Adler was born in Stockholm of Anglo-Swedish parents, according to the
Web site of the Rory Peck Trust. He left a wife and two daughters in

BBC correspondent Kate Peyton, one of several foreign reporters who
entered the country to cover the peace process in 2005, was shot dead
in Mogadishu in January 2005. Six months later, local radio journalist
Duniya Muhyadin Nur was shot dead while covering a protest near the
capital. Adler was the 14th journalist killed in Somalia since the fall
of former dictator Siad Barre in 1991, according to CPJ research. The
country has had no effective central government since that time.