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IFJ Demands Justice for Journalist Murdered in Somalia

By National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)

MOGADISHU, Somalia, June 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The International Federation of Journalists has joined its affiliate, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), to call on Somali authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into the killing of the radio journalist, Yusuf Ahmed Abukar Keynan, who was murdered in Mogadishu on Saturday morning, 21 June.

According to the NUSOJ, an explosive device ripped through Keynan's car at the Eel Gaab junction in the Hamarweyne District of Mogadishu. Police reached the incident immediately but were unable to put out a fire that had engulfed the car and could not save him.

Keynan, 27, worked for the privately owned Radio Mustaqbal, but had previously worked for a number of radio stations.

“We join our colleagues at the NUSOJ to send our condolences to the friends and family of Yusuf Ahmed Abukar Keynan,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “And we demand that the Somali government to direct local authorities to fully and promptly investigate his murder and to bring those who carried out this horrifying act to full and swift justice.”

Although Keynan is the first journalist killed in Somalia this year, the country remains one of the most dangerous in the world for journalists, with the NUSOJ reporting many incidents of intimidation and violence. According to FIJ figures, seven journalists were killed in Somalia in 2013.

The IFJ has backed the NUSOJ call for the government to step up protection for media personnel in the country, stating that despite promises little has been done to improve safety.

“There has been lip service paid by the federal government in terms of protection of journalists and there has not been an effective response by authorities to the wave of violence against media professional in recent years,” continued Boumelha.

“Somalia's federal government must now make good on its promises and take immediate steps to increase protection for journalists and to end this climate of fear and the threat of impunity that exists. If they do no act then more journalists will lose their lives."