CAJ Condemns Police Shooting of Journalist in Somalia

The Congress of African Journalists (CAJ) has today condemned the shooting of journalists Abdifatah Abduqadir Sharif of Radio Danan in Mogadishu on Thursday 25 June by a police officer, while he was coming from work.

“We express our solidarity to Abdifatah and his family. This unwarranted violence of a police officer should not go unpunished. The impunity must stop in Somalia” said Alexandre Niyungeko, President of the Interim Governing Council of CAJ.

According to reports by the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), “Approximately 7:45 pm (local time), the radio journalist was heading home from work on a tricycle moto taxi when a bullet shot from behind resulted the journalist to sustain injury on the back of his head… Abdifatah was rushed to the hospital where he underwent a minor surgery on Thursday night and was out of danger as of Friday morning when he was sait to be waiting for a second surgery before he is discharged.”

Other attacks on press freedom Thursday. Armed Somaliland police officers, around 1:30 pm (local time) on Thursday, forcibly entered and seized the headquarters of the independent privately-owned Star TV in Hargeisa. A Regional Court ordered the Horyaal TV journalist, Jabir Said Duale to be remanded in jail for seven days after he was charged with  filming Erigavo youth group’s protest. He was arrested on 16 June ; released the following day without charges ; and was re-arrested on 22 June, charged with filming an unlawful protest.

“We condemn the armed attack on Radio Danan journalist, Abdifatah Abduqadir Sharif, and call for thorough investigation into the attack by a police officer” Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, Secretary General of SJS. The syndicate also called for the release of the journalist jailed ; and the withdrawal of police from the invaded Star TV station.The CAJ calls on Somali authorities to end impunity for crimes against journalists and to protect the safety of journalists in the region.