The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today unreservedly condemned the brutal murder of journalist Liban Abdullahi Farah in Somalia.
According to IFJ affiliate in Somalia, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), Farah, 25, who had been working for Bossasso-based Somali Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) and London-based Kalsan TV, was killed instantly when three unidentified assailants opened fire on him in the Barahley neighborhood of Galkayo town on Sunday night, 7 July, 2013.
"We all mourn the tragic death of our colleague Liban Abdullah Farah, a highly respected and experienced journalist who worked for several radio and TV stations in Galkayo and leaves behind a wife and seven children," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.
"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."
NUSOJ said that Farah was attacked at around 7:45pm on his way home from work by men armed with pistols. He was immediately taken to a hospital in Southern Galkayo, but they were unable to save him. The motive behind the killing is unknown but it is suspected that his murder may have been connected with reports he filed about some Puntland political parties which were campaigning in Galkayo.
The NUSOJ expressed "shock and sadness" at the "cold-blooded murder" and accused Somali authorities of failing to respond effectively to the wave of violence against local media and journalists.
"This latest killing confirms the horrifying reality facing Somali journalists today where intolerance and callous targeting sees another journalist gunned down in Galkayo," added Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "Once again we look to the authorities to take their responsibility and protect journalists from this mindless violence."
Backing the NUSOJ stance, the IFJ has called on authorities in Somalia to step up their efforts to find the perpetrators of these crimes.
"The murderers of Liban Abdullah Farah must answer for their crimes," said IFJ General Secretary Beth Costa. "We call on the Somali authorities to step up their efforts to bring the perpetrators of this murder and other vicious attacks against journalists in the country to swift justice. The killing of journalists in Somalia must not go unpunished."