Mogadishu (HOL) – A Somali journalist, Munasar Mohamed, based in the Somali capital Mogadishu, said he had been receiving threatening phone calls and text messages since the past few days.
Mohamed says the callers, apparently a group of men from a family involved in the killing of Ahmad Mukhtar, a father of 12 kids, who was burned to death after his nephew marrying a girl from their “major clan” in Mogadishu. The victim was from one of the “minority clans” in Somalia.
He said the men were warning him of ‘dire consequences’ after he reported the case of Ahmad Mukhtar.
“I am constantly being threatened to be killed by a group of men, whom I have suspected to be from the family, who burned Ahmad Mukhtar to death over his nephew marrying a girl from their “major clan”, he said.
“How dare you publish this case and who allowed you to film it? For that offence, you will pay for it, you have to die. It will not be tolerated if you act as the mouthpiece of minority clans in Somalia”, the callers said in a recorded a phone conversation with Mohamed.
Mohamed called on Somali Union Journalists and other International Journalists Rights to do whatever could spare his life.
“I’m facing death threats after an apparent call by a group of men over reporting killing of Ahmad Mukhtar, a father of 12 kids, who was burned to death after his nephew marrying a girl from their “major clan,” he said.
Somali journalists frequently receive threats but police rarely investigate them or adequately protect reporters.
Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries for media workers, 59 journalists have been killed since 1992, soon after a civil war began in the Horn of Africa nation, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
It’s not entirely clear who has been killing journalists, but, Al-Shabab rebels, warlords, criminals, and even government agents have all been accused as perpetrators.
The deadliest country for journalists in 2015 was Syria, where 14 were killed, followed by France with nine, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Around the world, 72 journalists were killed in 2015 and 10 have been killed so far this year.