30 May 2012 The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today condemned the murder of a Somali journalist and called on local authorities to ensure that those responsible for crimes against media professionals are punished for their deeds.
“I condemn the murder of Ahmed Addow Anshur and urge the authorities to bring its perpetrators to justice,” the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, said in a news release.
Ahmed Addow Anshur, a journalist with Somalia's Radio Shabelle, was shot by unidentified gunmen in Mogadishu on 24 May. He had previously received death threats for his reports on corruption and, according to the National Union of Somali Journalists, he was the third journalist of Radio Shabelle to be murdered this year.
“Letting this crime as well as previous journalist killings in Somalia go unpunished constitutes an infringement on press freedom and on citizens' right to be informed,” Ms. Bokova added. “I call on the authorities to spare no effort in stemming violence against freedom of expression and society's ability to sustain public debate.”
A total of 19 journalists and media workers have been killed in Somalia since 2008.
Earlier this month, Ms. Bokova called on authorities in Somalia to bring to justice those responsible for the murder of another radio journalist, Farhan James Abdulle, who was shot dead on 2 May by unidentified gunmen in Central Somalia. Mr. Abdulle was a reporter for the Galkayo branch of Radio Daljir.
UNESCO has previously provided equipment and training on safety issues, conflict-sensitive journalism and humanitarian reporting to media professionals in Somalia, with the aim of helping enhance the quality and flow of humanitarian information as well as improving their ability to work in an environment marked by conflict.
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