7 September 2011

Malaysian journalist killed by AU forces

The body of Malaysian cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd is carried out from a Malaysia air force plane at an airport in Subang outside Kuala Lumpur, upon arrival from Mogadishu, on 4 September 2011
The body of Malaysian cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd is carried out from a Malaysia air force plane at an airport in Subang outside Kuala Lumpur, upon arrival from Mogadishu, on 4 September 2011
REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad
A Malaysian journalist was killed and another wounded after African Union (AU) forces fired on a Malaysian humanitarian convoy in Mogadishu on 2 September, report the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

Cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd, 39, was accompanying the Putera 1Malaysia Club on an aid mission when he was fatally shot in the chest at a busy intersection. Working for Malaysia's national Bernama TV, he was there to report on the mission's work. A second camera operator, Aji Saregar, 27, working for Malaysia's TV3, was hit in the right hand by gunfire; he has since returned to Malaysia, says CPJ.

The African Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM) said it was conducting an investigation of the incident in conjunction with Somalia's Transitional Federal Government.

Meanwhile, organisers of the aid mission have been criticised for not providing bulletproof vests or helmets to the news team, said IFJ. As well, the vehicle they were travelling in did not have any signage identifying them as media.

IFJ and NUSOJ have called on media employers to ensure the safety of media workers in conflict areas. "It is simply unacceptable for an employer to send a media worker to Somalia, which is known as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, without proper training and equipment," said IFJ.

Recent violence against the press in other areas of Somalia has included targeted bomb attacks, report NUSOJ and CPJ. Last month, in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, a grenade attack against a private radio station, Radio Daljir, in the city of Galkayo, resulted in a security guard being injured and the station damaged. The reason behind the attack was unclear, according to local reports. In May, an unexploded bomb was found outside the station's gate. Last September, 25-year-old Radio Daljir journalist Abdullahi Omar was stabbed after he left the station.

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