ITUC Condemns Killing of Somali Journalist

The ITUC has condemned the murder of Somali journalist Abdiasis Mohamed Ali, who was killed on 27 September by two men armed with pistols in northern Mogadishu.

Ali was on his way from the radio station where he worked, Radio Shabelle, to visit relatives in the Jiiro-garoob neighbourhood of Yaqshid district when he was shot five times in the chest and neck. A member and activist in the journalists’ union NUSOJ, part of the ITUC-affiliated Somalian trade union centre FESTU, Ali was the 13th journalist to be murdered in the country in the past nine years.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary said: “Journalists are being targeted in Somalia with impunity, and we demand that the authorities carry out a full and impartial investigation into Ali’s murder. The people who carried out this appalling act, and those who incited or commissioned them to murder an innocent journalist, must be brought to justice. We express our deepest condolences to his family and to his colleagues and friends.”

The ITUC is concerned that journalists, trade unionists and human rights defenders in Somalia, who already face enormous risks, could be at even greater risk in the lead-up to upcoming indirect national elections.

“The authorities need to take urgent steps, having failed to respond to urgent demands presented by trade union organisations to ensure the safety of those who stand up for freedom of speech, workers’ rights and democracy,” said Burrow.