A radio voice silenced

Mahad Salad Adan was a journalist who left behind a wife and a two-month-old child. © National Union of Somali Journalists

Killing condemned by UNESCO DG, 15 April 2012

Mahad Salad Adan - Somalia - Killed, 5 April 2012

Three unidentified assailants - apparently Islamic militiamen - shot and killed Somali radio journalist Mahad Salad Adan, also known as Mahad Jamal, on his doorstep in the city of Beledweyne on April 5th, 2012.

Adan was a journalist and a young father — he was just 25 years of age. His corpse lay on the street in front of the family home. Adan’s child was two months old at the time of the murder.

Adan was the editor-in-chief of Voice of Hiran, a radio station broadcasting to the central Somali region of Hiran. He had also recently been hired as a regional correspondent for Somalia's largest news outlet, the Shabelle Media Network.

Somalia is among the most dangerous places in the world, and the work of journalists there is particularly perilous. Many seek quite openly to silence the voices of independent reporters.

On the day he met his death, Adan had been reporting clashes between the militant Islamist group al-Shabaab and Ahlu Sunnah Waljama, the pro-government Sufi militia. Apparently no other journalists had covered the fighting.  

Transitional Federal Government forces had regained control of Beledweyne in December 2011, but al-Shabaab fighters were still at large and active in the city.

After the murder, the Somali government issued a statement in which al-Shabaab was blamed for killing Adan although the insurgents have not taken public responsibility for the crime.

Of the dozens of journalists who have met violent deaths in Somalia in the last two decades, many have been Shabelle staffers. One such victim was the Radio Shabelle presenter and producer Hassan Osman Abdi, who was shot five times in the head and chest in January 2012, close to his home in Mogadishu.

Generally these killings go uninvestigated.

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Disclaimer

This article was originally printed in the Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat. The content of the article may have been modified and/or updated as information became available following the date of publication.
 
UNESCO encourages all media outlets to inform the public of violations of press freedom; to raise awareness of issues impacting the safety of journalists around the world; and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
 
The original article in Finnish can be found here.

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