Somalia: Amnesty calls for investigation into killing of radio director

Somalia: Amnesty calls for investigation into killing of radio director

Muktar Mohamed Hirabe is the fifth journalist to be killed in the line of work this year

Amnesty International has today [8 June] called on the Somalia Transitional Federal Government to open a thorough, prompt and impartial investigation, with the assistance of the international community, into the killing of Muktar Mohamed Hirabe – director of Somali radio station, Shabelle.

Muktar Mohamed Hirabe was shot dead on the morning of Sunday 7 June in Bakara Market in the capital Mogadishu, reportedly by unidentified gunmen. He was walking with Ahmed Omar Hashi (known as Tajir) the news editor of Radio Shabelle, who was also shot and wounded.

Amnesty International UK Campaigns Director, Tim Hancock said:

“Attacks and threats against journalists and broadcasters are becoming increasingly prevalent in recent years across Somalia. Muktar Mohamed Hirabe is the third journalist from that Radio Shabelle to be killed this year, and its second Director to die in a targeted attack.”

News of the death of Muktar Mohamed Hirabe follows the abduction of the director of Somali Universal Television, Ibrahim Mohamed. Mr Mohamed – otherwise known as Jekey – was kidnapped while travelling to Afgoye to Mogadishu on Tuesday 2 June.

Tim Hancock continued:

“This worrying trend of attacks on journalists can no longer go unnoticed by the international community. Journalists have a right to carry out their work without fear of reprisal, of any kind, particularly death.

“The Transitional Federal Government has to fully address these attacks on journalists and carry out a comprehensive investigation, with the assistance of the international community into this killing.”

Amnesty International calls on all parties to the conflict to end all attacks against journalists. Amnesty is calling on the International Contact Group on Somalia, meeting on 9 June in Rome, to adopt concrete measures to make accountable those who target civilians, including journalists and civil society activists.

Notes to the editor

1. Muktar Mohamed Hirabe is the fifth Somali journalist to be killed in the line of work this year and the second Director of the Somali radio station, Shabelle, to be killed in the last two years.

2. In its March 2008 report Amnesty International described attacks against journalists in Somalia as a means of silencing reporting about human rights abuses by all parties to the conflict: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR52/001/2008

ENDS
Amnesty International UK media information:
Eulette Ewart: 020 7033 1552, eulette.ewart@amnesty.org.uk br />Out of hours: 07721 398984, www.amnesty.org.uk br />Follow us on: www.twitter.com/newsfromamnesty

View latest press releases