BY Middle East Monitor

Somalia’s police kill journalist in Mogadishu

Somalia’s police shot dead a broadcast journalist yesterday, Garowe Online reported. This is the first killing of a journalist in 2018 as the government battles with corruption within its ranks.

Abdirisaq Qasim Iman, a journalist working for the London-based Somali Broadcasting Services (SBS) was killed by security checkpoint police near Peace Garden in the city’s Hamar Jajab district.

The incident occurred around 16:00 Somali local time when eye witnesses saw the checkpoint police ordering Iman’s rickshaw to take a different route. Iman had his broadcast equipment, including camera, on him.

An argument occurred between Iman and the police at the checkpoint, and according to eyewitnesses, two shots were fired at Iman’s head a minute later killing him immediately.

“This is a shocking murder and we demand the government gives top priority to bringing the killer to justice. We are tired of few meaningless words of regret and a cursory inquiry. Family and colleagues of Abdirisaq Qasim Iman must receive justice,” said Omar Faruk Osman, the secretary-general of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSIJ).

“Journalists demand justice, nothing more and certainly no less. Iman’s murder must not join in the long list of unpunished killings of Somali journalists,” Osman continued.

Somalia was ranked one of the worst countries in terms of corruption, according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2017 report. The country suffers from weak public institutions and instability which directly impact basic security governance.

According to Garowe Online, impunity among Somalia’s security forces may be influencing the killings. Journalists across Somalia are harassed, blackmailed and placed in prison arbitrarily.

Since the country’s civil war began in 1991, some 64 journalists have been killed in Somalia, according to the Committee to Protest Journalists. Last year, Mohamed Ibrahim Gabow, a Somali journalist working for Kalsan TV was killed in front of his children, when a car bomb exploded.