Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Veteran Journalist Murdered in Mogadishu

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - 5 May 2010 - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) today condemned the mindless and merciless targeted assassination of veteran journalist Sheik Nur Mohamed Abkey in Mogadishu on 4 May 2010.

Hooded men with pistols followed Abkey, 52, who worked for the government-owned Radio Mogadishu/Voice of Somali Republic, and killed him near his home in Wardhigley district.

"We condemn the assassination of Sheik Nur Mohamed Abkey, who is another victim of mindless and merciless brutality against journalists," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "Somali journalists are being murdered for just reporting their stories independently or for their journalistic work with a particular media house."

Journalists in Mogadishu believe that Abkey was murdered because of his leading role and journalistic work with Radio Mogadishu, which is owned and managed by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). The government has officially accused Al-Shabaab militants of committing the crime. "The loss of this experienced journalist is heartbreaking for his family and colleagues, but it is also a blow to the entire Somali people," Osman declared.

NUSOJ says the latest assassination shows how journalists continue to face daily risks in Somalia, where violence and terrorism have become an increasingly routine part of daily life. "We again call on all sides in the conflict to stop manipulating the media to suit their own political interests, which have become a major cause of media victims," Osman added.

Abkey joined the profession in 1988 as a reporter with former Somali National News Agency (SONNA), specializing in foreign news coverage. Over the past ten years he had worked for several media houses in Mogadishu, including HornAfrik Radio, Somali Television Network (STN), East Africa Radio and recently, Radio Mogadishu.

Abkey did not move from his home to Radio Mogadishu studios when he started working for the station, as other journalists fearing for their safety did. Abkey was a skilled journalist who worked as a producer, reporter, presenter and even technician.

For more information:

National Union of Somali Journalists
1st Floor, Human Rights House
Taleex Street, KM4 Area, Hodan District
nusoj (@)
Phone: +252 1 859 944
Fax: +252 1 859 944
National Union of Somali Journalists

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