Somalia publicly executes former Al Shabab media aide

Court in Somalia orders execution of former Al Shabab spokesman accused of killing of six journalists

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Hassan Hanafi Haji is tied to a wooden post as he is prepared to be executed by firing squad at a police academy in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Monday, April 11, 2016.

A former media aid for Al Shabaab was publicly executed by a government firing squad on Monday for ordering the death of six journalists, court officials said. 

Hassan Hanafi, who was a spokesman for Al Qaeda-linked armed group Al Shabaab when the militants controlled the capital Mogadishu, admitted during his trial to have personally killed one journalist in Somalia.  

"Today, the court fulfills the execution of Hassan Hanafi who had killed journalists," Abdullahi Hassan, deputy judge of the court, told reporters at the scene on Monday.            

Hanafi was masked and tied to a pole at an execution field in front of the government forces who opened fire at him, witnesses said.  

Since 1992, about 59 journalist have been killed in Somalia, according to the committee to protect Journalists.  

Hanafi, aged 30, admitted joining Al Shabaab armed group in 2008 when he worked as a journalist for a local broadcaster. He was arrested in neighboring Kenya last year and repatriated to Somalia for court ruling.  

A few days ago, a military court has also ordered for the execution of two men accused of killing a female reporters employed by the state radio, court officials said.

Al Shabab was chased out of Mogadishu in 2011 but remains to be a dangerous threat in both Somalia and neighbouring Kenya where it carries out frequent attacks.

TRTWorld, Reuters