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Outrage as Somali journalist stabbed to death

Will Ross

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Said Yusuf Ali
Radio Dalsan/Twitter
Said Yusuf Ali had just reported on the murder of a schoolteacher

Media organisations in Somalia have strongly condemned the murder of a television journalist on Monday evening.

Said Yusuf Ali was stabbed several times outside a shop in the capital, Mogadishu.

The father of two whose wife is expecting their third child had just covered a story on the murder of a schoolteacher.

The killing comes against a backdrop of rising threats by the Somali government, a statement the Federation of Somali Journalists says.

Over the last year four journalists have been killed, close to 50 have been physically tortured or harassed and dozens have been arbitrarily arrested, it says.

On Sunday, which was World Press Freedom day, Somali media bodies sent a protest letter to President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who is also known as "Farmajo", which documented a list of recent violations against journalists.

Somalia's press freedom boosts the media industry

Somalia's President has declared that a 1964 law used to restrict media will be reformed
Journalists in Somalia have welcomed a declaration by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo, that an outdated law, from 1964, will be reformed to protect journalists and freedom of expression. 

It has been used to prosecute news reporters and media companies, to stifle investigation into corruption.

The legal change will give a boost to the media industry, in one of the world's most dangerous countries for reporters. As Omar Faruk Osman, the Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists, in Mogadishu, tells the BBC's Russell Padmore.

(Picture: Journalists in Somalia protesting against media repression. Credit:AFP/Getty Images).

Somali government told to stop harassing journalists

Will Ross

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Person writing in a book
Getty Images
Somalia comes in near the bottom of a press freedom list

The National Union of Somali Journalists has called on the government to stop harassing and intimidating journalists.

In a statement to mark World Press Freedom Day the union says journalists in Somalia are working in a climate of extreme fear, with brutal physical assaults and malicious arrests.

It says in recent weeks journalists have been on trial on trumped up charges in order to silence those seen as critical of the authorities.

One radio host was shot dead in February and three journalists were killed last year.

The rights group Reporters Without Borders ranks Somalia near the bottom of the global press freedom index - at 164th place out of 180 countries.