Somali journalist Hassan Osman Abdi killed

Monday, February 6, 2012

His Excellency Dr. Elmi Ahmed Duale
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary/Permanent Representative of Somalia to the United Nations
425 East 61st Street, Suite 702
New York, New York, United States, 10065

Dear Ambassador,

I am writing on behalf of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect press freedom and freedom of expression around the world.

CJFE strongly condemns the recent murder of senior radio and television journalist Hassan Osman Abdi, director of the Shabelle Media Network, Somali delegate to the International Federation of Journalists and Eastern Africa Journalists Association, and father of three children. On the evening of January 28, 2012, Abdi was shot five times by a group of men outside his home in Mogadishu, and died on the way to the hospital.

The National Union of Somalia Journalists (NUSOJ) has condemned this attack, reporting it as a “calculated killing” to end Abdi’s coverage of political crisis and institutional corruption, intended to send a message to silence other political journalists in Mogadishu.

Abdi’s murder follows the killing of Horn Cable TV journalist Abdisalan Sheik Hassan in December and continues a string of attacks and murders targeting journalists who dare to report on government abuses or extortion of citizens. Despite the continuing threats to journalists in Somalia, there has been limited government response to seriously investigate and prosecute these attacks and protect at-risk reporters. This demonstrates a grave disrespect not only to the vulnerable families of the journalists targeted, but to the Somali citizens’ own right to free expression and freedom of information.

As expressed in our October 6 letter to you, we insist that Somalia’s transitional federal government condemn and work to investigate these targeted attacks on journalists. We call on you to uphold Somali journalists’ and citizens’ crucial rights to free expression.

We thank you for your attention and I look forward to your reply.

Yours Sincerely,

Arnold Amber, CJFE President