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Journalist Said Tahlil Amhed killed in Mogadishu, second Somali journalist murdered in 2009

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) strongly condemns the brutal assassination of Said Tahlil Ahmed, director of HornAfrik Radio in Mogadishu, on 4 February 2009 at around 2:45 p.m. (local time).

Three men with pistols shot Said Tahlil Ahmed four times in the head in the Bakara Market while he was with other directors of radio stations in Mogadishu. The directors had been summoned by the Al-Shabaab Islamic group for a meeting, according to one of the directors who did not want to be named for security reasons. Due to the killing, the directors were unable to attend the meeting.

"This is an outrageous and appalling assassination," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "Said Tahlil Ahmed was assassinated because of his strong and professional commitment to independent journalism."

Said Tahlil Ahmed was a courageous and well-respected veteran journalist. "Today, the Somali journalism community lost a leading journalist who was killed by enemies of press freedom, with the intention of instilling fear in the hearts of all journalists," Omar Faruk declared. "Enough is enough, the government of President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed and the international community have to act swiftly to end targeted violence against journalists," Omar Faruk said.

Said Tahlil Ahmed is the second journalist killed in Somalia since the start of 2009. Hassan Mayow Hassan, of Radio Shabelle, who was killed on 1 January, was the first journalist killed in the world in 2009.

NUSOJ is a national union representing Somali journalists to promote and protect freedom of the press and the interests and rights of journalists.

For further information on the Hassam Mayow Hassan case, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/99582

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