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STAND AGAINST POLITICAL KILLINGS
13 August 2007
Sultan Hurre Human Rights Focus (SHHRF) condemns the dreadful killing of Ali Iman Sharmarke and Mahad Ahmed Elmi, two prominent Somali journalists who were at the height of their professional careers. Ali Iman Sharmarke was co-founder of HornAfrik media, while Mahad Ahmed Elmi, hosted a popular radio talk show on Capital Voice, an FM station owned by HornAfrik Media.
Our heart goes to the family, relatives and friends of these two audacious men. We urge you not to give in to intimidations. Silencing the media by intimidation and assassination is another form of what is known as ‘the culture of political assassination’.
Although the perpetrators are not yet known, such malicious act, undoubtly, bears the hallmark of the culture of political assassination that has continued in Somalia for the past two decades or so. Those who died because of their convictions include Elman, Farah Dhere and Sultan Ahmed Hurre.
It was only about a year ago when Somalis and the international community were mourning for the shocking murder of Abdulqadir Yahya, a man who stood for the good of his country. Yahya never though that he will end up being killed in front of his family. Yahya’s killing was preceded by the political assassination of Sultan Ahmed Hurre, a man who returned to his home country but killed in public with impunity.
This latest round of killing demonstrates the extent of Somali political killings and how the perpetrators have created an attitude of ‘why bother your political enemies when you can eliminate (and silence them)’. This mind-set is well known in all Somali regions and the most successful one in this culture has the best chance of gaining the highest takings. Today Somalia is a country whose most valuable people tend to be victims of assassination.
A responsible and free media is an essential element in the process of helping Somali society to reunite and solve their problems. Suppressing the media can only exasperate Somali plight further by hindering the much needed awareness about tolerance of social and political diversity within Somali society.
One way Somalis can get out from this vicious circle is to say “Enough is enough” and stand against those whose business is political violence.
Sultan Hurre Human Rights Focus (SHHRF)
(SHHRF 0091/2007, 13 August 2007)