Abdirisaq Qasim Iman, a cameraman working for privately owned Somali Broadcasting Services (SBS), was shot dead on Thursday, July 26 afternoon by a police officer in the country’s capital city, Mogadishu. The International Federation of Journalists joins its Somali affiliate, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), in condemning this terrible crime and demanding Somali authorities to bring the alleged perpetrator to justice.
According to local media reports quoting Iman’s colleagues, the journalist was a passenger on a motorbike on his way back home from work when a police officer ordered at a check-point on Via Liberia street stopped them and ordered them to take another direction while pointing an AK-47 rifle at Iman and his media equipment. Iman complained and asked the police officer to stop pointing at him and his camera. The officer reportedly told him he could blow his head off and shot him two times in the head, killing him instantly.
Iman, aged 20, is the first journalist killed in Somalia in 2018. However, his murder is the latest of a series of attacks against journalists in Somalia, a country ranked as one of the most dangerous places in the world for media workers. Furthermore, attacks on journalists, including threats, aggression, harassment and arbitrary detentions, go mostly unpunished.
“This is a shocking murder and we demand the government to give top priority to bring the killer to justice. We are tired of few meaningless words of regret and a cursory inquiry. Family and colleagues of Abdirisaq Qasim Iman must receive justice,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.
The IFJ general secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “We are outraged about this cold blood and totally unprovoked killing of another journalist in Somalia. The Somali Government must leave no stone unturned to arrest the killer and ensure he faces the full force of the law, which is the only way to end the culture of impunity that runs across the country and fuels attacks on journalists. We will work together with NUSOJ to demand justice for Iman”.