NUJ condemns journalist murder in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia, January 30, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The National Union of Journalists Great Britain and Ireland (NUJ) has joined its sister union, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), in strongly condemning the murder of Hassan Osman Abdi, a senior journalist and trade union branch secretary, he was also the director of Shabelle Media Network, the leading private radio and television network in Southern Somalia.

Abdi was shot dead on Saturday 28 January 2012 as he arrived home in the Madina district in Mogadishu at 18:30 local time. He was trailed by five men in a sedan who fired five shots at him.

Widely known Hassan Fantastic, Abdi suffered serious injuries to his head and chest and died on the way to Madina hospital.

Abdi was a highly acclaimed journalist who has been busy unearthing politically complex issues and corruption within public institutions. Abdi was also a trade union branch secretary in Mogadishu city.

Hassan Osman Abdi was born on 1 July 1982 in the Jilib district of the Lower Juba region of Somalia and was appointed as Director of Shabelle Media Network in October 2011.

“This is a terrible tragedy, both for Hassan Osman Abdi’s family and for the Somali journalist community,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ general secretary.

“All of the union officials are alarmed and saddened by the murder of Abdi which has removed cherished official in the union ranks and a respected colleague from the journalism fraternity,” added Osman.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: “Somalia is a deadly place for journalists and trade unionists. Over the last few months we have seen Abdisalan Sheik Hassan gunned down and now Hassan Osman Abdi has been murdered.

“Their deaths are a loss to journalism and the trade union movement as a whole. The NUJ sends its condolences to their colleagues and families and calls on the authorities to take action to protect the safety of journalists.”

The NUJ and NUSOJ express their condolences and sympathy to the members of Abdi’s family, as well as to the staff at Shabelle Media Network.

Local journalists believe that Abdi was murdered because of his leading role within the Shabelle Media Network in reporting the political crisis in Mogadishu as well as uncovering corruption cases. “This was calculated killing,” said one journalist who was close to Abdi.

“The use of violence to stop journalists from exercising their basic human right of freedom of expression is unacceptable reality facing Somali journalists. We demand that vicious circle of impunity of crimes against journalists to be ended,” declared Osman.

Hassan Osman Abdi’s death has left a family without a husband and three children have lost their dad.

Abdi has sadly become the first journalist to be murdered in Somalia in 2012, he is the fifth journalist of Shabelle Media Network to be slayed and the fourth union official to be killed.


National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)

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