Another media killing in Somalia, another episode of impunity. This time the killers have struck female radio journalist Rahmo Abdulkadir, and got away swiftly, with very little chance of catching them, let alone identifying who assigned them.
Abdulkadir (25), who was walking to a relative’s house near Bacaad Market in the Mogadishu district of Yaaqhiid, was shot five times and did not survive to tell the tale of her killers, but her female companion was unharmed. This is according to local news reports.
This is typically the trend, or almost a fashion in troubled Somalia, where the life of a journalist has become cheaper and can be taken out just like a slice of buttered bread ready to be chewed.
As the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) once again raises the alarm of media killings in the Horn of Africa, and calls for an immediate investigation, Adbulkadir’s colleagues – local and international – wonder who is next in the black list and when this will end.
Abdikarim Ahmed, the director of Radio Abudwaq, which covers news and social affairs for central Somalia, was said to be shocked as news of her employee’s killing came to the public ear.
He knew no motive for the attack, the CPJ statement quoted Ahmed as saying.
Last month, Somalia Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon set up an Independent Task Force on Human Rights whose mandate includes investigating past cases of journalist murders.
The PM also announced a public reward of 50 000 USD for information leading to the conviction of a journalist killer.
“Despite promising measures set up by the government last month, the number of journalists killed in Somalia continues to grow,” CPJ East Africa consultant Tom Rhodes said.
“Authorities must double their efforts and ensure security forces in Mogadishu are prepared to ensure the security of all civilians, including journalists.”
CPJ said at least one journalist has already been killed in direct connection to his work in Somalia this year. The New York-based media watchdog said Somalia is the most dangerous country to practice journalism in Africa.
For the third consecutive year, CPJ said the country was ranked second on its Impunity Index, which calculates the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population.
Somalia has been ranked 175th by the Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) 2013 World Press Freedom Index. RSF said 18 journalists were killed, caught up in bomb attacks or the direct targets of murder, making 2012 the deadliest in history for the country’s media.
“The Horn of Africa state was the second most dangerous country in the world for those working in news and information, behind Syria,” Paris-based RSF said.
*Photo by AFP