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YOUNG REPORTER GUNNED DOWN

A young reporter on his way home from a journalism training workshop in Mogadishu was killed in an ambush on 24 August, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and affiliate organisation the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) report. He is the third journalist to be killed in two weeks in Somalia.

Abdulkadir Mahad Moallim Kaskey, a correspondent of the private, Mogadishu-based station Radio Banadir, was killed when unidentified gunmen opened fire on a minibus in southwestern Gedo province. Kaskey was the only passenger of 15 who died; CPJ reports that two others were injured.

NUSOJ says that the day before his death, Kaskey had visited its offices in Mogadishu to discuss working conditions of journalists in southwestern Somalia. Kaskey was also a correspondent of Radio Maandeeq in Gedo and Radio Daljir in the northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland.

In the absence of a strong central government, gunmen linked to clan militias clashing over land frequently set up roadblocks to extort money from vehicles passing through their localities, say CPJ and the Somali-speaking Writers Centre of International PEN.

Kaskey was the seventh journalist killed in Somalia this year and the third journalist killed within two weeks, according to NUSOJ. Only Iraq has had more journalists killed this year, says CPJ.

"This latest killing confirms our fears that journalism has become more dangerous than ever in Somalia," says IFJ. "The deteriorating political crisis and increasing levels of violence make independent reporting almost impossible. International organisations need to think hard about action now to calm the situation."

IFJ is planning a campaign to highlight attacks on the press in Somalia.

Visit these links:
- CPJ: http://tinyurl.com/2szgth
- IFJ: http://www.ifj.org/default.asp?Index=5246&Language=EN
- NUSOJ: http://www.nusoj.org/
- Somali-speaking PEN (email): [email protected]
- East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (EHAHRD-NET): http://www.yorku.ca/crs/AHRDP/index.html
(28 August 2007)

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