Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the targeted bomb attack that badly injured the well-known head of a Somali press freedom NGO in Mogadishu and calls on the authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation in order to quickly identify those responsible.
Ismail Sheikh Khalifa, the founder and head of Human Rights Journalists (HRJ), was rushed to Erdogan Hospital in a serious condition after a bomb placed under his car exploded in the downtown Mogadishu district of Waberi at around 4 pm. After he received a blood transfusion, his condition was described as “stable,” relatives told RSF.
Khalifa was a journalist with radio Star FM before founding HRJ.
“We condemn this shocking attack that was carried out with the sole aim of silencing an impassioned press freedom advocate and thereby intimidating all Somali journalists, said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. The bomb was clearly placed under this journalist’s car in broad daylight in a busy downtown district with many surveillance cameras. We urge the authorities to do everything possible to ensure that a thorough and impartial investigation quickly identifies those who tried to murder this well-known journalist.”
Two professional journalists have been killed this year in Somalia, which continues to be one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the media and is ranked 168th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index