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02.08.2012 Somalia

Statement of the UN Special Representative for Somalia on the assassination of a prominent Somali comedian

By United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS)
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MOGADISHU, Somalia, August 2, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Special Representative of the UN SecretaryGeneral for Somalia, Dr. Augustine P. Mahiga condemns in the strongest terms the killing of the prominent Somali comedian and media worker Abdi Malaq Jeylani, also known as “Marshale” on 31 July, in front of his house in Mogadishu.

Reportedly two unknown assailants shot to death the renowned comedian and fled the scene immediately.

“Almost every month we mourn a victim in the Somali media world. This is simply unacceptable. I call, again, on the Somali authorities to take immediate action and do all that is necessary to conduct a full and independent investigation into this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice,” SRSG Mahiga said.

Yesterday, the Provisional National Constitution was adopted, which clearly stipulates the right to freedom of expression and opinions, including freedom of speech and freedom of the media in all forms. The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) held a Constitutional Conference in May on Freedom of Expression, where Somali leaders expressed their uncompromising support to media freedom and raised the need to enhance the judicial system.

“Despite all promises, we have witnessed little to minimum progress so far on the investigations of the crimes against media professionals,” SRSG Mahiga mentioned while he reiterated his office's support to the TFG on investigating the cases. “We have asked several international partners to provide technical and material support to strengthen the investigation capacity of the Somali police,” he added.

“I call again on the relevant authorities to protect the journalists in the country and safeguard their work. UNPOS stands ready to assist towards this end. The cycle of impunity must end.”

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