Haji’s Final Moments Before Death By Firing Squad
Hassan Hanafi Haji, one time a journalist then joined Al-Shabab in Somalia. He was extradited from Kenya last year on the request of the Somali government due to strong links with extremist group al-Shabab.
He often urged journalists to report according to al-Shabab’s media rules, which included avoiding stories related to the group’s military setbacks.
Haji as a liaison officer to the extremist group, was known to threaten journalists and any radio stations for reporting stories not in favor of the Islamic extremist rebels, forcing many media outlets to practice self-censorship for security reasons. He later led al-Shabab’s media unit, inviting journalists to press conferences and giving them tours of battlefields.
Hassan was executed in Somalia’s capital for the killings of five Somali journalists.
Killings of media professionals often happened in government-controlled areas that journalists generally consider safe.
At least 18 Somali journalists were killed last year, which makes Somali as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for media workers.
Al-Shabab rebels, warlords, criminals, and even government agents all could have reasons to kill media workers, but there is still no clear evidence as to who kills journalists in Somalia.