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Somali journalist killed by gunmen; link to political reporting suspected

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is shocked and saddened to learn of the cold-blooded murder of journalist Liban Abdullahi Farah.

On 7 July 2013, Liban Abdullahi Farah – who had been working for the Bossasso-based Somali Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) and London-based Kalsan TV – was killed instantly when three unidentified assailants opened fire on him six times in the Barahley neighborhood of Galkayo town.

"This latest killing confirms the horrifying reality facing Somali journalists today, where intolerance and callous targeting sees another journalist gunned down in Galkayo" said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ secretary general. "Once again, we look to the authorities to take their responsibility and protect journalists from this brutal injustice."

According to fellow journalists, Liban Abdullahi Farah, also known as Liban Qaran, was attacked at around 19:45 local time on his way home from work, by men armed with pistols. He was immediately taken to a hospital in Southern Galkayo, but his body was returned to his home to prepare for his burial.

The motive behind the killing is unknown, but journalists suspect that his death may be related to reports that Liban filed about some Puntland political parties who were campaigning in Galkayo.

"The journalists of Galkayo and across the country are rightly angry that there has not been an effective response by the authorities to the wave of violence against journalists and [the] media. They must act quickly to protect journalists and to eliminate the threat of impunity in the killing of journalists," said Abdirisak Omar Ismail, president of the supreme council of NUSOJ.

The National Union of Somali Journalists declares that Liban's death brings the number of Somali journalists killed since January 2013 to 5. Mohamed Ibrahim Rageh, was killed on 21 April, Abdihared Osman Adan was killed on 18 January, Mohamed Ali Nuhurkey was killed on 18 March and Rahmo Abdulkadir was killed on 25 March.

"When journalists are being killed with impunity, it is impossible to talk of the rule of law and respect for human rights in Puntland," said Abdiweli Hassan Abdi, the Puntland coordinator for NUSOJ.

Liban Abdullahi Farah, 25, is survived by seven children and a wife. He previously worked with several radio and TV stations in Galkayo.

What other IFEX members are saying
  • TV reporter gunned down in Galkayo

    "On 18 January, we called on the Somali authorities to create a special force dedicated to protecting journalists. We reiterate this appeal now in the name of freedom of information and defence of human rights."

  • IFJ condemns "cold-blooded" murder of Somali journalist

    "Farah is the fifth journalist murdered in Somalia since January of this year, a horrific death toll that simply cannot be tolerated. His murder once again demonstrates the appalling reality facing journalists on a daily basis in Somalia and the vital need to improve the safety and protection of journalists in the country."

  • Sixth Somali journalist killed in 2013

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