Private Mogadishu station has paid for its uncensored editorial policy with the death of five journalists since 2007.
|Abdi, the 29-year-old father of three, was shot by two men in the head and shoulder [Al Jazeera]
Gunmen in Somalia have shot dead the director of a major radio station in front of his home in Mogadishu, colleagues and witnesses said.
Hassan Osman Abdi, who headed Radio Shabelle, was stopped by two men as he was entering his gate on Saturday. He was shot several times, according to Mohamed Moalim, a relative who stayed in the area.
“We don’t know who they are, but they shot him mercilessly in the head and shoulders,” he said.
Mu’awiye Ahmed Mudey, a producer at Shabelle radio confirmed the attack.
Radio Shabelle interrupted its programmes to broadcast several verses from the Koran as an expression of mourning for Abdi, the 29-year-old father of three.
Somalia, which has been devastated by 20 years of civil war, is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists.
Media rights campaigners, Reporters Without Borders (Reporteurs Sans Frontieres, RSF), reported in December that 25 journalists had been killed there since 2007.
“(Hassan Osman) Abdi is the first journalist to be killed in 2012 in Somalia, Africa’s deadliest country for media personnel,” RSF said in a statement.
“Our thoughts go out to his family and fellow journalists, who are yet again mourning a colleague’s death,” it added.
He was the third director of the network to be killed, the group said, recalling the killing of Bashir Nur Gedi in 2007 and Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe in 2009.
“Violence against journalists in Somalia is sustained by impunity for those responsible,” RSF said.
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has some 10,000 troops in the Somali capital Mogadishu to protect the fragile Western-backed Somali government.