UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today deplored the murder of Somali radio journalist Farhan James Abdulle, who was shot dead on 2 May by unidentified gunmen in the village of Garsoor in Central Somalia.
“Farhan James Abdulle was a fervent defender of press freedom, and fought for improved security for journalists,” the Director-General said. “His tragic death, on the eve of World Press Freedom Day, deprives the people of Somalia of a voice that spoke out for their right to be informed and their right to freedom of expression.
“The construction of a robust democracy is a complex task, especially in those countries emerging from conflict. Press freedom plays a vital role in this and journalists must be able to work without fearing for their lives, if they are to fulfill their responsibilities. Every effort must therefore be deployed to find the killers of Farhan James Abdulle and bring them to justice. There must be no impunity.”
Abdulle, 27, was a reporter for Radio Daljir – Galkayo branch. He is the fifth journalist to be murdered in Somalia in this year.
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…”