Ali Sharmarke

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  |   Somalia

Said Tahlil Ahmed

Garowe Online

Masked gunmen repeatedly shot Tahlil, director of the independent broadcaster HornAfrik, as he and several other senior journalists were walking through the Bakara Market area of the capital, according to CPJ interviews and news accounts.

The journalists had been summoned to a meeting with members of Al-Shabaab, a militant Islamist group that was apparently displeased with coverage of the January 31 presidential election won by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, a moderate Islamic leader. Al-Shabaab had rejected the election and considered the newly elected leader to be a puppet of the West.

The other journalists escaped without serious injury, but Tahlil died at the scene. In a telephone interview, an Al-Shabaab spokesman denied responsibility for the murder.

Tahlil became director of HornAfrik after the company’s founder, Ali Sharmarke, was killed in an August 2007 roadside bomb attack in Mogadishu. The director was best known for his Friday news program in which he discussed the week’s top issues. He was survived by a wife and eight children. 

February 2, 2009 12:00 AM ET

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Getting Away with Murder 2008

CPJ's Impunity Index ranks countries where killers of journalists go free

New York, April 30, 2008 -- Democracies from Colombia to India and Russia to the Philippines are among the worst countries in the world at prosecuting journalists' killers according to the Impunity Index, a list of countries compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists where governments have consistently failed to solve journalists' murders.

Alerts   |   Somalia

In Somalia, two prominent journalists assassinated hours apart

New York, August 13, 2007—Somalia’s U.S. and Ethiopian-backed government arrested two suspects on Sunday in the separate attacks that killed prominent journalists Ali Sharmarke and Mahad Ahmed Elmi of leading independent broadcaster HornAfrik Media in the war-torn capital of Mogadishu. Both were killed on Saturday.

August 13, 2007 12:00 PM ET

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  |   Somalia

Mahad Ahmed Elmi

Prominent journalists Ali Sharmarke and Mahad Ahmed Elmi were killed in Mogadishu in two separate attacks on the same day. Unknown gunmen shot Elmi, director of Capital Voice radio, a private station run by HornAfrik Media, four times in the head at close range as he neared the door of his office early that morning, according to news reports and local journalists. He bled to death after being rushed to the hospital.

Elmi, 30, hosted a popular daily morning talk show in which Mogadishu residents phoned in reports about neighborhood issues such as crime and government security operations.

Sharmarke, founder and co-owner of HornAfrik Media, was killed just hours later after attending Elmi's funeral. The black Land Cruiser in which he was riding was struck by a remotely detonated landmine, according to the local news reports. None of the more than 20 other vehicles in the funeral procession was hit.

Sharmarke, 50, who had dual Canadian and Somali citizenship, was survived by two wives and two children, Horn-Afrik co-manager Mohamed Mohamud Elmi told CPJ. Elmi was survived by a wife and two children, according to news reports.

August 11, 2007 12:01 AM ET

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  |   Somalia

Ali Sharmarke

Prominent journalists Ali Sharmarke and Mahad Ahmed Elmi were killed in Mogadishu in two separate attacks on the same day. Unknown gunmen shot Elmi, director of Capital Voice radio, a private station run by HornAfrik Media, four times in the head at close range as he neared the door of his office early that morning, according to news reports and local journalists. He bled to death after being rushed to the hospital.

Elmi, 30, hosted a popular daily morning talk show in which Mogadishu residents phoned in reports about neighborhood issues such as crime and government security operations.

Sharmarke, founder and co-owner of HornAfrik Media, was killed just hours later after attending Elmi's funeral. The black Land Cruiser in which he was riding was struck by a remotely detonated landmine, according to the local news reports. None of the more than 20 other vehicles in the funeral procession was hit.

Sharmarke, 50, who had dual Canadian and Somali citizenship, was survived by two wives and two children, Horn-Afrik co-manager Mohamed Mohamud Elmi told CPJ. Elmi was survived by a wife and two children, according to news reports.

August 11, 2007 12:00 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Somali government cracks down on media over security coverage

New York, June 7, 2007—Three private broadcasters covering a government security crackdown in the aftermath of Sunday's deadly suicide bombing of the residence of the Somali prime minister in the capital, Mogadishu, were indefinitely shuttered on Wednesday after authorities accused the stations of fomenting unrest, according to news reports and local journalists.

HornAfrik Radio, the first independent broadcaster in Somalia's history, the leading independent station Radio Shabelle, and the private station Radio IQK (Holy Quran Radio) remained off the air today, a day after being shut down by an order of the Somali Information Ministry. HornAfrik Co-Director Ali Sharmarke was briefly detained today and the offices of Shabelle Radio were searched for weapons in the ongoing security crackdown in response to a string of deadly suicide bombings and attacks targeting the Somali government and its Ethiopian allies, according to independent local journalists. Guns carried by the stations' security personnel were also confiscated, they said.
June 7, 2007 12:00 PM ET

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