22 October 2007 The Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the assassination of Bashir Nor Gedi the chief executive of a popular radio station.
“I am gravely concerned about worsening violence against journalists and media personnel in Somalia who are brave enough to fulfil their professional commitments in such a dangerous environment,” said UNESCO chief Koïchiro Matsuura.
He condemned the assassination of Bashir Nor Gedi, the acting chairperson of Shabelle Media network was shot by unidentified gunmen in his home on 19 October, according to UNESCO.
Somalia, which has not had a functioning government since 1999, needs more communication, information and debate to consolidate the basis for reconstruction, the UNESCO chief said. “Murderers seeking to muzzle the media are undermining people's inalienable right to think and to decide what is right and what they want.”
Bashir Nor Gedi was the eighth media person killed in Somalia this year, according to the International Freedom of Expression Exchange network, which also reports that that several senior journalists of the Shabelle radio station have fled Mogadishu following recent attacks.