The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom has deplored the murder of Abdirisak Ali Abdi, a journalist killed in the town of Galkayo, Somalia, and called for a thorough investigation into the crime.
“I condemn the killing of Abdirisak Ali Abdi,” said a statement by the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. “I call on the authorities to take every possible measure to protect the safety of journalists and to improve their ability to do their work keeping the public informed.”
Mr. Abdi, who worked as a contributor for various media outlets including Radio Daljir and HornCable TV, was gunned down in a restaurant on 18 November by two unknown assailants.
“Every effort must be made to bring those responsible for the killing of Abdirisak Ali Abdi to trial,” Ms. Bokova’s statement continued.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has described Somalia as one of the top 10 countries where crimes against journalists go unpunished. In addition, media workers risk not just death on a daily basis but also arbitrary arrests, as happened earlier this year when a reporter was accused of fabricating a rape story based on an interview which was never published.