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Media executive of prominent radio station assassinated in Mogadishu

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is deeply shocked by the assassination of a media executive of a prominent and popular radio station in Mogadishu.

Bashir Nor Gedi, Acting Chairperson and the vice chairperson of Shabelle Media Network, was assassinated at his home in the Wardhigley district of Hamarjadid neighbourhood, on 19 October 2007, by unknown gunmen, according to his wife and his relatives.

The leadership of Shabelle Media Network confirmed the assassination of Bashir Nor Gedi. The chairperson of Shabelle Media Network, Abdimalik Yusuf, condemned this hardhearted killing. After Shabelle Radio broadcast the news of the assassination of its boss, it stopped its normal programming and started airing verses of the Holy Quran to mourn Nor Gedi's death, according to Shabelle management.

The assassination of Bashir Nor Gedi seems to be a premeditated attack, according to his family members and an eyewitness. He becomes the eighth media person killed in Somalia since January 2007.

"This is an intentional killing that has political motives", said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "It is totally intolerable and sends a clear message to each media person that his or her life is at risk because of his or her media activity. We have been appealing to political groups to end the killing of media people, but no group listens. Now is the time for the international community to take urgent actions instead of issuing statements expressing its distress and condemnation."

Shabelle Media Network has recently been experiencing attacks on its journalists and its premises. Several senior journalists of the radio station have fled Mogadishu.

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