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Reporters Without Borders Alert: TV comedian and producer gunned down after criticizing Al-Shabaab

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Reporters Without Borders Alert

1 August 2012

SOMALIA

TV comedian and producer gunned down after criticizing Al-Shabaab

Abdi Jeylani Malaq, a TV actor, comedian and producer also known as Marshale, was fatally shot in cold blood by unidentified gunmen as he was about to enter his home in the Mogadishu district of Waberi at around 7 p.m. yesterday.

He was taken with gunshot injuries to the head and chest to the capital’s Madina hospital, where he died. The method of operation used in the killing and the threats he had previously received suggest that it was the work of the Islamist militia Al-Shabaab.

“This tragedy is a cruel reminder that nothing stops free expression’s enemies in Africa’s deadliest country for the media,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Anyone who dares to speak out against Al-Shabaab’s crimes in Somalia is signing their own death warrant.”

“These barbaric acts have never elicited an effective reaction from either the local authorities or the international community. Must the list of victims keep on growing before those responsible cease to enjoy complete impunity?”

Malaq, who worked for Universal TV, wrote and performed in popular television dramas in which he used humour to criticize both the federal transitional government and armed groups, including Al-Shabaab. He had recently received several phone threats from Al-Shabaab for criticizing its recruitment of child soldiers.

A journalist working for Universal TV, Abdulkadir Omar Abdulle, narrowly survived an attack in Mogadishu on 7 July, when two individuals shot him in the stomach and leg at close range. He was evacuated to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi for treatment.

Malaq was the seventh media professional to be killed in Somalia since the start of the year. More information: http://en.rsf.org/somalia.html

Al-Shabaab has been on the Reporters Without Borders list of Predators of Press Freedom for many years (http://en.rsf.org/predator-al-shabaab,42476.html), while Mogadishu was listed as one of the world’s ten most dangerous places for the media in the 2011 Reporters Without Borders roundup (http://en.rsf.org/annualoverview-21-12-2011,41582.html).


SOMALIE

Assassinat du comédien, humoriste, et producteur Abdi Jeylani Malaq

Abdi Jeylani Malaq, plus connu sous le nom de Marshale, a été assassiné le 31 juillet 2012, vers 19 heures. Alors qu’il rentrait à son domicile, dans le quartier de Waberi à Mogadiscio, l’humoriste et producteur pour la chaîne de télévision Universal Tv a été froidement abattu par balles par plusieurs hommes non identifiés.

Grièvement blessé à la tête et à la poitrine, Marshale est décédé à l’hôpital Madina de la capitale somalienne. Le mode opératoire de l’attaque et les différentes menaces reçues par le comédien préalablement à son assassinat laissent deviner la signature d’Al-Shabaab.

"Ce drame rappelle cruellement que rien n’arrête les ennemis de la liberté d’expression dans ce pays le plus meurtrier d’Afrique pour les professionnels des médias. En Somalie, quiconque donne de la voix pour dénoncer les forfaits de la milice Al-Shabaab signe son arrêt de mort", a déploré Reporters sans frontières.

"Ces actes barbares n’ont jamais suscité de réaction efficace de la part des autorités locales ou de la communauté internationale. La liste des morts doit-elle encore s’allonger pour en finir enfin avec l’impunité des responsables?", s’est interrogée l’organisation.

Connu pour ses fictions et ses prestations humoristiques, Abdi Jeylani Malaq était très apprécié du public somalien. Il critiquait sur un ton comique, et sans discrimination, les groupes armés, la milice islamiste Al-Shabaab, ou encore le gouvernement fédéral de transition. Pour avoir dénoncé le recrutement d’enfants soldats par Al-Shabaab, il avait reçu récemment plusieurs menaces téléphoniques de la part de ce groupe.

A Mogadiscio, le 7 juillet 2012, le journaliste Abdulkadir Omar Abdulle, qui travaillait aussi pour la chaîne Universal Tv, avait échappé de peu à la mort. Deux individus lui avaient tiré dessus à bout portant, le blessant à l’estomac et à la jambe. Il avait été transféré à Nairobi, au Kenya, pour y suivre des soins.

Abdi Jeylani Malaq est le septième homme de média tué en Somalie en 2012. Plus d’informations : http://fr.rsf.org/somalie.html

Reporters sans frontières rappelle que la milice islamiste Al-Shabaab figure depuis plusieurs années dans la liste des prédateurs de la liberté de la presse. (lien : http://fr.rsf.org/somalie-al-shabaab-02-05-2012,42438.html).

L’organisation avait classé Mogadiscio parmi les dix lieux les plus dangereux du monde pour les journalistes, dans son bilan 2011. (lien : http://fr.rsf.org/bilan2011-21-12-2011,41581.html).

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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