Two media workers were killed in Somalia in separate incidents earlier this week.
Media reports say Yusuf Ali Osman, a veteran journalist widely known as Yusuf-Farey and who previously served as a director of Radio Mogadishu, was shot as he walked to his office in the capital, Mogadishu, on Sunday.
Mr. Osma was working as the Media Relations Director of the Somali Ministry of Information, Posts and Telecommunications.
Mohamed Ali, known as Buniste, was reportedly killed by a stray bullet as he watched a soccer match.
Mr. Ali was reportedly working for Voice of Democracy and was lately reporting for online publications.
Today, the the top United Nations political envoy for the East African nation expressed strong condemnation on the killings of two media workers.
Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Augustine Mahiga called for the end of the “culture of impunity” that threatens the country’s free press as it struggles to emerge from two decades of lawlessness.
“We must not allow the fundamental freedoms that a free press represents to be compromised by those willing to use violence to serve their personal agendas.” -Mr. Mahiga
Mr. Mahiga stresses that it is simply unacceptable that over the course of the year justice was not served for any of the victims of these crimes in Somalia.
“This culture of impunity must end.” -Mr. Mahiga
Earlier this month, a prominent Somali comedian and media worker was reportedly shot to death in front of his house in the capital, Mogadishu, by two unknown assailants.
Reports say Abdi Malaq Jeylani ridiculed leaders of a ruthless Islamist insurgent group that is notorious for forcibly recruiting boys into as soldiers in one of his radio shows.
The criticism aired by Mr. Jeylani, also known as “Marshale,” may have cost comedian his life.
In May this year, a prominent radio journalist was also killed by unidentified gunmen in the village of Garsoor in Central Somalia, a few hours before the celebrations of the World Press Day.
The presenter of radio news programme Radio Daljir in Somalia Farhan Abdulle (James), 27, was reportedly going home, when two unknown men with pistol shot him to death and immediately fled.
Mr. Abdulle is a well-known campaigner for journalists’ safety as a member of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) as well.
At least 26 journalists have been killed in Somalia for the last 4 to 5 years. The National Union of Somali Journalists continues to demand investigation into the crimes committed against journalists and more protection from the regional administrations.