Reporters Without Borders is dismayed by freelance cameraman Zakariye Mohamed Mohamud Moallim’s murder last night in Mogadishu. Aged 24, he was shot in the head and chest by unidentified gunmen in the district of Nasib Bundo and died on the spot, becoming the ninth journalist to be murdered this year in Somalia.
For the time being, it is impossible to say whether Moallim was killed in connection with his work. His father, Mohamed Mohamud, is also a journalist and works for Radio Mogadishu.
"The new president, Hassan Sheik Mohamud, needs to appreciate the gravity of the situation for journalists in his country, the deadliest in Africa for the media," Reporters Without Borders said.
"By ordering an immediate probe into this freelance cameraman’s death and by giving the investigators the resources they need to arrest and punish those responsible, the president would demonstrate his and his government’s determination to combat the impunity enjoyed by the murderers of journalists until now.
"The protection of media workers should be one of the new government’s priorities as the regularity with which they are attacked is liable to encourage even more self-censorship or drive them into exile. Somalia is already a media black hole and news coverage could disappear altogether if nothing is done to end this spiral."
Journalists have been killed at the rate of one a month this year in Somalia.