Director-General calls for investigation into killing of Somali journalists Mohammed Mohamud Tuuryare and Ahmed Farah Ilyas

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today expressed grave concern over the safety of journalists in Somalia and called for an investigation into the killing of Mohammed Mohamud Tuuryare and Ahmed Farah Ilyas, on 28 October and 23 October respectively.

“I condemn the murder of Mohammed Mohamud Tuuryare and Ahmed Farah Ilyas,” the Director-General said. “The number of journalists killed in the country is truly alarming and I am deeply concerned about the ability of journalists, whose courage I admire, to carry out their work in the face of such violence.

“It is essential for the authorities to investigate these crimes which affect society as a whole as they undermine citizens’ freedom of expression, a basic human right, and their ability to receive information they need,” Ms Bokova concluded.

Mohamed Mohamud Turyare, a 22-year-old journalist webmaster and producer for Shabelle Media Network, was shot several times in the chest and stomach as he left a mosque in Mogadishu on 21 October. He died one week later in hospital from injuries sustained during the attack.

Ahmed Farah Ilyas, 25, widely known by the name of Saakin, was a reporter for Universal TV. He was attacked by unidentified gunmen on his way home from work in the Sool region of Northern Somalia.

These two murders bring to 17 the number of journalists killed in Somalia this year alone. They are remembered on the dedicated site UNESCO Condemns the Killing of Journalists.


            Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at),  +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…”