Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Suicide Bomb Kills Lawyers and Journalist in Somalia

ARTICLE 19 condemns the killing of a journalist and two human rights lawyers in a suicide attack on a court complex in Mogadishu on 14 April 2013. Mohamed Hassan Habeeb, a journalist who acted as a media adviser to the Bandir regional court, was killed along with the head of the Somali Lawyers Association, Mohamed Mohamud Afrah and the campaigning human rights lawer, Abdikarin Hassan Gorod.

ARTICLE 19 urges the government to launch a prompt and effective investigation into these attacks, for which the militant group Al Shabaab is reported to have claimed responsibility.

"This is one of the deadliest attacks in Mogadishu since 2011. We send our condolences to the families of those who were killed, including the journalists and the lawyers. We strongly urge the government to ensure justice is done for the victims. An urgent investigation is needed, and those responsible should be brought to justice", said Henry Maina ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa Director.

On Sunday 14 April, two car bombs exploded outside the Mogadishu law courts and gunmen stormed the building. A gun battle followed between the group and the security forces, which lasted for more than two hours. Later, another car bomb exploded at a building housing Somali intelligence whilst Turkish and African Union (AU) vehicles were passing.

No official death toll has been published, but ARTICLE 19's Somali partners estimate over 20 people could have died in the twin attacks.

Journalists and human rights defenders in Somalia are frequently the target of violence.

In 2012, 18 journalists lost their lives in the line of duty.


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