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Friday 25 May 2012

Somalia: Amnesty Condemns Murder of Shabelle Journalist

The killing of veteran journalist Abdisalan Sheik Hassan in December 2011 was the beginning of the latest spate of targeted killings of journalists.

By NewsfromAfrica

MOGADISHU---Amnesty International condemns Thursday’s murder of Shabelle media network journalist Ahmed Adow Anshur in Mogadishu, the seventh journalist to be killed by gunmen in the past six months in Somalia.

"The Somali authorities and the international community must do everything possible to stop this renewed and alarming pattern of targeted killings against Somali journalists and ensure their safety.

"Despite the Somali authorities having opened investigations into all six recent killings, since veteran journalist Abdisalan Sheik Hassan was murdered in Mogadishu in December 2011, no one has been brought to justice. Somali journalists will continue to be at great risk until the Somali authorities are able to arrest and prosecute those who perpetrate such attacks."

Next week (31 May) an international conference on Somalia will take place in Istanbul, to discuss the future of the country and follow up on the commitments made by Somali and international actors at the London conference on Somalia in February.

"Amnesty International urges the international community to adopt effective measures to improve the protection of civilians, including journalists, in Somalia. The fact that seven journalists were murdered in the past six months in cities controlled by the Somali authorities should prompt urgent action to restore the rule of law and tackle impunity for human rights abuses in these areas. The establishment of a Commission of Inquiry to document human rights abuses in Somalia, including attacks and threats on journalists, would demonstrate a commitment to address the threats that civilians continue to face."

The killing of veteran journalist Abdisalan Sheik Hassan in December 2011 was the beginning of the latest spate of targeted killings of journalists: so far, six journalists have died in targeted killings in 2012, and one only narrowly avoided being killed. All those attacks occurred in cities controlled by the Somali authorities four in Mogadishu, one in Beletweyne and two in Galkayo.

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