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Freelance journalist shot dead in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia

A Somali freelance radio and TV journalist was shot dead late Sunday by unknown gunmen in the town of Afgoye in the Lower Shabelle region.

A media rights group and the Somali presidency condemned the killing of Abduwali Ali Hassan, also known as Abduwali Online, a 25-year-old father of two children.

“The cowardly murder of our young industrious journalist Abdiweli Cali-Abdiweli Online in #Afgoye today is too painful to take. May Allah give Sabr to his family and colleagues. No amount of fear can silence or scare the restoration of safety of practising #Journalism in #Somalia,” Somali presidential communications director Abdinur Mohamed Ahmed said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), an independent journalists’ trade union established in May 2019 by professional journalists to defend the rights of working journalists, advocate for press freedom and provide legal aid, also condemned the killing.

Afgoye is located 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of the capital Mogadishu.

Ibrahim Adan Najah, the governor of Lower Shabelle region, said the police have launched an investigation into the killing.

It marks the country’s first murder case in 2020 but comes days after Amnesty international said that at least eight journalists in Somalia have been killed since 2017 while at least eight others have fled the country.

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