A man known as the leader of Somalia’s comedy scene was shot dead, likely because of jokes he told about Al-Qaeda and the nation’s government.
After leaving the Kulmiye radio station in the nation’s capital Mogadishu, where he worked, two men shot comedian Abdi Jeylani Malaq Marshale, reports the AFP. “The comedian was later pronounced dead,” said police lieutenant Mohamed Gaal. “Unfortunately the assailants escaped.”
The killing, it seems, is part of a string of murders. This year in Somalia, one media employee has been killed each month– eight in total. Marshale had apparently received many death threats in the past. The comedian regularly poked fun at Shebab, an extremist group with ties to Al-Qaeda. He also helped Somali youths avoid joining insurgency groups.
“He had not done anything wrong to anybody, as far as we are concerned, but they shot him in the head and shoulders,” said Yusuf Keynan, a host at Kulmiye radio. “This is a black day for the entire entertainment industry, he was a leader in Somali comedy and everybody liked his performance.”
Human rights organization Amnesty International released a statement today in an attempt to urge the Somali government not to ignore these clearly calculated assassinations. “Amnesty International is shocked not only by the continuing pattern of targeted attacks against media workers, but also at the inaction of the Somali authorities to protect them and to investigate these attacks seriously,” said Bénédicte Goderiaux, Somalia researcher at Amnesty International.
“Not a single person has been brought to justice for the killings of journalists in Somalia this year, nor in previous years. The Somali authorities must conduct thorough investigations into the killings, ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice in fair trials and address the widespread impunity which exists in Somalia.”