AFEX Deplores Bomb Attack against Somali Journalist

The African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) denounces an attempt by hooligans on the life of Somali journalist and Chairman of rights-based NGO, Human Rights Journalists (HRJ) in Somalia.

According to local media report, Ismail Sheikh Khalifa is seriously injured after an explosive device which was planted in his car went off in the early evening of December 4, 2018 in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Khalifa is said to have sustained serious injuries and was bleeding profusely. He is currently undergoing treatment at the Erdogan Hospital (formerly Digfeer hospital).

The reason behind the attempt on Khalifah’s life is unclear and no perpetrators have claimed responsibility for the attack or have been apprehended.

AFEX is seriously concerned about the deteriorating safety of journalists’ situation in Somalia. The use of explosives to target journalists in Somalia is not new. On December 11, 2017, Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed, nicknamed Gabow, who used to work for privately owned Kalsan TV, was killed after an improvised explosive device was fitted to his car.

We call upon the police to investigate this heinous attack against Ismail Sheikh Khalifa and bring the perpetrators to book. AFEX calls on the government of Somalia to ensure that attacks against journalists are investigated to a logical conclusion and perpetrators severely punished.

Additionally, we appeal to the government of Somalia and all relevant stakeholders to put in place safety of journalists mechanisms to ensure that journalists are safe in carrying out their duties. Impunity for crimes against journalists cannot continue to prevail over justice in Somalia.

We wish Khalifa a speedy recovery.