The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of journalist Yusuf Ahmed Abukar Keynan and radio employee Mohamed Omar Mohamed, and urged measures to improve the safety of media professionals in Somalia.
“I condemn the killing of Yusuf Ahmed Abukar Keynan and Mohamed Omar Mohamed,” the Director-General said. “I urge the authorities to investigate these two crimes and spare no effort to improve the safety of journalists in the country. Media workers must be able to carry out their work, which is essential for the informed dialogue that Somalia requires to build a better future for all its citizens,” Ms Bokova concluded.
Keynan, a journalist for the Mogadishu-based private Radio Mustaqbal and Ergo Radio, a humanitarian broadcaster based in Nairobi, was killed when his car was blown up on 21 June in Hamarweyne in south-eastern Somalia.
Mohamed Omar Mohamed, known as Amaar, was an advertising and marketing staffer for Radio Dalsan. He was shot dead in Mogadishu’s Bakara Market on 21 April.
The Director-General’s statements on the killing of media workers are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.
Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org, +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…”