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Monday, 05 September 2011

Malay Journalist Killed in Somalia

IPI Calls for Full Investigations 

By: Naomi Hunt, Press Freedom Adviser

Peacekeepers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) ride in an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) as they patrol the streets of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, August 31, 2011. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

VIENNA, 5 Sept. 2011: Noramfaizul Mohd Nor, a cameraman for Malaysia’s national Bernama TV, was killed in Mogadishu on Friday 2 September when the car he was travelling in was fired on at a city junction, reports say. His colleague Aji Saregar Mazlan, of TV3, was reportedly wounded but is now recovering.

The reporters were travelling with the Malaysian charity Putera 1Malaysia Club in the Somali capital to report on the organization’s aid activities, reports say. According to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), it is believed that African Union troops mistakenly shot at the vehicle, which was guarded by Somali government forces.

The Somali Transitional Federal Government has said it is investigating the attacks, Reuters reported.

Malaysian news outlets reported that Nor’s funeral on Sunday was attended by a number of high level officials, including the prime minister and information minister. Meanwhile, the Kuala Lumpur-based Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ) called on media organizations to provide journalists with safety training and ensure that they are equipped with protective gear that also identifies them as members of the press, local news reports said.

“We urge the Somali authorities to conduct a full and transparent investigation into the deaths of Noramfaizul Mohd Nor and Farah Hassan Sahal,” said IPI Director Alison Bethel McKenzie. “Our condolences go to the families and colleagues of these journalists.”

Nor, 39, is the first Malaysian journalist to have been abroad, the New Straits Times, a Malaysian daily, reported.

He is the second journalist to have been killed in Somalia this year.  Farah Hassan Sahal of Radio Simba was killed by sniper fire last month near Mogadishu’s Bakara market, NUSOJ reported. 

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