Director-General urges improved safety for journalists in Somalia and denounces murder of reporter Mahad Salad Adan

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today deplored the killing of Mahad Salad Adan, also known as Mahad Jamal, earlier this month in the region of Hiran, in central Somalia. She also called for measures to improve the safety of journalists working in the country.

“I condemn the murder of Mahad Salad Adan in Somalia where all too many journalists are paying with their life for exercising their profession and trying to uphold the fundamental human right to free expression,” the Director-General said. “I call on the authorities and on the belligerent factions in Somalia to respect the civilian status of journalists and let them provide their essential contribution to public debate.”

Adan, the correspondent of the Shabelle Media Network, is reported to have been killed by three gunmen near his home in the village of Howlwadag, in western Beledeweyne, the capital of Hiran on 5 April.

On the same day he had reported on a conflict between factions in the district of Mahas, which is part of Hiran.

Seventeen journalists and media workers, including Mahad Salad Adan, have been killed in Somalia since 2008. They are listed on the dedicated webpage, UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists.

In 2011, UNESCO provide<a name="_GoBack"></a>d 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 the previous year, UNESCO, in collaboration with Radio Netherlands Training Centre (RNTC), trained 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…”