Prominent Radio Journalist Murdered in Somalia

A prominent radio journalist was 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.

The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today urged authorities in Somalia to bring to justice those responsible for the murder Mr. Abdulle.

SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon (at podium, centre) leads the room in observing a moment of silence for the journalists who were killed in the line of duty last year, during an event commemorating annual World Press Freedom Day. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova said every effort must therefore be deployed to find the killers of Farhan James Abdulle and bring them to justice

“There must be no impunity.” -Ms. Bokova

She noted that Mr. Abdulle was a “fervent defender of press freedom,” and fought for improved security for journalists.

Mr. Abdulle is a well-known campaigner for journalists’ safety as a member of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) as well.

Ms. Bokova said his tragic death, on the eve of World Press Freedom Day, deprives the people of Somalia of a voice that spoke out for their right to be informed and their right to freedom of expression.

Observed annually on 3 May, the Day celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom.

Ms. Bokova stressed that the construction of a robust democracy is a complex task, especially in those countries emerging from conflict.

Press freedom plays a vital role in this and journalists must be able to work without fearing for their lives, if they are to fulfil their responsibilities, she UNESCO chief added.

Reports say Abdulle is the fifth journalist to be killed this year in Somalia, the deadliest country in Africa for the media.

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.

World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) 2012 was celebrated under the theme: “New Voices: Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies.”

The theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day is consistent with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the establishment, maintenance and fostering of an independent, pluralistic and free press is essential to the development and maintenance of democracy in a nation, and for economic development. (Windhoek Declaration of, 3 May 1991)

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