Somalia: Somali women's rights reporter shot dead in Mogadishu

The Guardian

A 21-year-old woman has become the latest victim of a series of deadly attacks against journalists in Somalia.

Rahma Abdulkadir, whose work focused on women's rights, was murdered on Sunday night as she was travelling to her home in the Yaaqshiid neighbourhood of the capital, Mogadishu, colleagues and friends confirmed.

Abdulkadir was shot by two men after she and a fellow journalist, Munira Ibrahim, left an internet cafe at about 9.30pm.

"Two men armed with pistols approached us and started shooting Ms Abdulkadir," Ibrahim said. "Within seconds I saw her falling on the ground with a lot of blood coming from her head. They shot her in the head three times and in the neck two times. There were no police and I had to escape from the scene."

Ibrahim had worked with Abdulkadir at Radio Caabudwaaq in the Galgaduud region of central Somalia. The station's director, Abdukarim Bulhan, described Abdulkadir as an active young journalist who had been working with him since 2010. In January last year she moved to Mogadishu, where she was also intending to join a local university.

Bulhan said: "She was an active and young female journalist with the aspiration to be a role model. Her main focus was human rights in Somalia, particularly women's rights."

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Abdulkadir is the third journalist killed in Somalia this year.

The National Union of Somali Journalists has demanded that the work of a taskforce established by the Somali government to probe media assassinations be sped up. Last year 18 media workers were killed, mostly in targeted murders, but no arrests have been made.

Mohamed Ibrahim, secretary-general of the union, said: "We condemn this unacceptable killing. We want to call on the government to open investigations into all the journalists assassinated in Somalia."

Augustine Mahiga, the UN secretary-general's special representative for Somalia, also expressed shock. "I condemn this hideous attack in the strongest terms and send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Rahma Abdulkadir," he said.

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