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October 14, 2014 - Updated on January 20, 2016

TV journalist badly wounded in targeted shooting


A London-based TV station’s bureau chief, he was shot several times outside his Mogadishu home A shooting attack on a Somali journalist two days ago in Mogadishu has again highlighted the dangers for media personnel in what is one of the world’s information black holes. London-based Somali Channel Television’s Mogadishu bureau chief, Abdirizak Jama Elmi is in a serious condition in the city’s Madina Hospital after gunmen shot him several times outside his home in the district of Howlwadag at around midday on 12 October. “It is shocking that Somali journalists continue to be the victims of this kind of violence,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk. “We urge the authorities to not let this crime go unpunished and to pursue those responsible in accordance with the rule of law.” This is not the first time Abdirizak Jama Elmi has narrowly survived an attack. He was seriously wounded along with other journalists by a bomb targeting a news conference given by the Islamist militia Al-Shabaab in 2010. This week’s attempt to murder Abdirizak Jama Elmi has been firmly condemned by Somali journalists’ associations and by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The head of the National Intelligence and Security Agency, Gen. Abdirahman Mohamed Turyare, visited Abdirizak Jama Elmi in hospital and promised a thorough investigation into the shooting, suggesting that Al-Shabaab were to blame. Somalia continues to be one of the world’s most dangerous countries for media personnel. As well as being killed in connection with their work, journalists are also exposed to arbitrary arrest by the authorities and closure of news media. A car bomb killed radio journalist Yusuf Kenyan in June, while no fewer than seven journalists were murdered last year in Somalia, which is ranked 176th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. (photo: Abdirizak Jama Elmi)