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Media Director Murdered in Mogadishu

By National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)

MOGADISHU, Somalia, February 29, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns in strongest terms possible the murder on Tuesday, 28 February 2012, of Director of Somaliweyn Radio station at his home in Mogadishu.

Abukar Hassan Mohamoud, nicknamed Kadaf, was murdered by two men armed with pistols who shot him five times, according to eyewitnesses, at his home in Hawa-Tako neighborhood of Wadajir district in Mogadishu at around 18hours local time.

“This murder of Abukar Hassan Mohamoud is a another tragedy and continues to further undermine freedom of expression and freedom of the press in Somalia,” Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. “Those who continue to murder journalists must be brought to justice, lest fear cripple both the media community and the people of Somalia who rely on journalists for the news and information."

Mohamoud has been working hard in the past few days for the re-launch of Radio Somaliweyn after it was attacked and looted by Al-Shabaab in 2010. Islamic militants attacked and seized the radio station, which is part of Somaliweyn Media Centre (SMC), and looted most of the SMC equipment in May 2010 in Shibis district in north Mogadishu. The attack on the 20th May, Al-Shabaab forces collected FM 2KW of two pieces, the Mixer, the Machines, the Microphones and the Computers. On the 21st May, Al-Shabaab collected electric generators - 2 pieces, scanners, printers and the UPS for the computers. On the 23rd May, Al-Shabaab collected the Lip Dishes, the Vehicle of the media centre, Microphones and the Tower Antenna.

Although the killers remain unnamed, family members and colleagues believe that Mohamoud was murdered for his efforts to reestablish the broadcasting of Somaliweyn which has only been working on the website.

Abukar Hassan Mohamoud, a long time member of NUSOJ, has been at the forefront in calling for justice and end to the press freedom violations. “He has been self-sacrificing member who always wanted to come out publicly against suppression of journalists,” declared Osman.

NUSOJ repeats its urgent call for an Independent Commission of Enquiry into the murder of Somali journalists to address widespread culture of impunity surrounding the death of journalists.

Mohamoud, 43, is the 29th journalist to be murdered in Somalia since 2007 and the second journalist and director murdered in 2012, a month after Hassan Osman Abdi, Hassan Fantastic, Director of Shabelle Media Network, was coldblooded murdered in the same district. He left two daughters and their mother.