Killers of Somali journalist must be brought to justice – UNESCO chief

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. Photo: UNESCO/D. Bijeljac

7 May 2012 – The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today called on authorities in Somalia to bring to justice those responsible for the murder of radio journalist Farhan James Abdulle.

Mr. Abdulle, 27, was shot dead on 2 May by unidentified gunmen in the village of Garsoor in Central Somalia. He was a reporter for the Galkayo branch of Radio Daljir, and the fifth journalist to be murdered in the Horn of Africa nation this year.

“Every effort must therefore be deployed to find the killers of Farhan James Abdulle and bring them to justice,” UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, said in a news release. “There must be no impunity.”

She noted that Mr. Abdulle was a “fervent defender of press freedom,” and fought for improved security for journalists.

“His tragic death, on the eve of World Press Freedom Day, deprives the people of Somalia of a voice that spoke out for their right to be informed and their right to freedom of expression,” stated Ms. Bokova. Observed annually on 3 May, the Day celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom.

“The construction of a robust democracy is a complex task, especially in those countries emerging from conflict. Press freedom plays a vital role in this and journalists must be able to work without fearing for their lives, if they are to fulfil their responsibilities,” the UNESCO chief added.


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