Somalia executes journalist killer by firing squad

Hassan Hanafi, a former media officer for the Somali Islamist group al Shabaab, was executed on April 11, after confessing to killing five colleagues.
Hassan Hanafi, a former media officer for the Somali Islamist group al Shabaab, was executed on April 11, after confessing to killing five colleagues. PHOTO: REUTERS

Mogadishu (AFP) - Somali police on Monday (April 11) executed by firing squad a journalist who assassinated colleagues for the Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militant group.

Hassan Hanafi, sentenced to death last month after military judges said he had confessed to his role in the killing of five journalists, was executed at a police academy in the capital Mogadishu shortly after dawn.

Several journalists watched the execution and said Hanafi struggled as he was taken to be killed, with the police having to tie him to the firing post.

"He confessed and was found guilty of masterminding the murder of several Somali journalists... his execution has been carried out," senior military court official Abdulahi Hussein said.

Hanafi was arrested in August 2014 in Kenya and extradited to Somalia late that year.

Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists to operate. Some attacks are believed to be linked to score-settling among the multiple factions in power, as well as by the Shebab.