Director-General alarmed by murder of Somali journalist Ahmed Addow Andshur and urges end to impunity
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today voiced deep concern over the murder of Ahmed Addow Anshur of Somalia’s Radio Shabelle on 24 May. Ms Bokova called on the authorities to ensure that those responsible for crimes against media professionals are punished for their deeds.
“I condemn the murder of Ahmed Addow Anshur and urge the authorities to bring its perpetrators to justice,” the Director-General said. “Letting this crime as well as previous journalist killings in Somalia go unpunished constitutes an infringement on press freedom and on citizens’ right to be informed. I call on the authorities to spare no effort in stemming violence against freedom of expression and society’s ability to sustain public debate.”
Ahmed Addow Anshur was shot by unidentified gunmen in Mogadishu. He had previously received death threats for his reports on corruption. Anshur is the third journalist of Radio Shabelle to be murdered this year, according to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).
A total of 19 journalists and media workers have been killed in Somalia since 2008. They are listed in the dedicated webpage UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists.
In 2011, UNESCO provided equipment and training on safety issues, conflict-sensitive journalism and humanitarian reporting to more than 40 media professionals in Somalia. The purpose of this assistance was to enhance the quality and flow of humanitarian information in the country and neighbouring refugee camps. In 2010, UNESCO, in collaboration with Radio Netherlands Training Centre (RNTC), provided training to 20 Somali community radio journalists, helping them improve their ability to work in an environment marked by conflict.
Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12
UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”