Reporters Without Borders is saddened to learn that Mohamed Mohamud Turyare, a 22-year-old journalist who was shot several times in the chest and stomach as he left a mosque on 21 October, died yesterday from his injuries in Mogadishu’s Madina Hospital.
"Turyare’s death brings the number of journalists killed with complete impunity in Somalia to 17 since the start of 2012," Reporters Without Borders said. "The toll on the lives of media personnel is unparalleled in the country’s history."
A webmaster and producer for Shabelle Media Network, Turyare had shown signs of improvement in his condition after undergoing surgery but it suddenly worsened yesterday afternoon, just as plans were being made to move him to a hospital abroad for further treatment.
Despite the presence of members of the security forces outside the mosque at time of the shooting, Turyare’s killers have still not been identified.
22.10.2012 - Radio Shabelle journalist badly injured in targeted shooting
Reporters Without Borders is deeply shocked by yesterday evening’s attempt to murder Radio Shabelle journalist Mohamed Mohamud Turyare, who was shot four times in the chest and abdomen by two gunmen as he left a Mogadishu mosque.
He was rushed to the capital’s Madina Hospital, where he underwent immediate surgery. Doctors said after the operation that his injuries no longer posed a threat to his life.
"Somalia has been Africa’s deadliest country for journalists for years," Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. "With 15 journalists killed since the start of this year, it now ranks alongside Syria as one of the two deadliest countries in the world for the media.
"This latest attack on a journalist is a direct result of the permanent climate of impunity and hostility towards freedom of information that reigns in this Horn of Africa country."
Deloire added: "Members of the Somali armed forces were present during yesterday’s attempt to murder Turyare and fired back at his assailants. We hope the authorities will quickly take the necessary measures to identify and prosecute those responsible for this criminal act."
Shabelle Media Network, which operates a TV station and a news website as well as Radio Shabelle, has seen a total of eight of its employees killed in acts of violence since 2007. The latest was the journalist Ahmed Ado Anshur in May.
Since the start of this year, there have been at least half a dozen cases of threats, intimidation and physical violence targeting journalists working for Radio Shabelle, which won the Reporters Without Borders press freedom prize in 2010.
Photo : Rial Use - Mandatory credit AFP photo / AU-UN / Stuart Price