UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today denounced the murder of Ahmed Sharif, from Mogadishu Radio, who was gunned down in the Somali capital, on 16 August.
“I condemn the murder of Ahmed Sharif,” the Director-General said. “He joins an already lengthy list of media professionals who have lost their life in Somalia. These criminal acts are a serious violation of the right to freedom of expression and press freedom, both of which are particularly important in a country seeking to rebuild after so many years of conflict. It is essential that those responsible for this killing be brought to justice.”
Ahmed Sharif, 39, was a seasoned professional, who worked for the State-run Radio Mogadishu. He was gunned down near his home in the north of the city by two men, who then fled the scene.
His death is the fifth media murder to have been condemned by UNESCO in 2013, and is remembered on the dedicated webpage, UNESCO Condemns Killing of Journalists.
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…”