Somali Journalist Hassan Hanafi Faces Execution For Supporting al-Shabaab

Somali journalist Hassan Hanafi, who was convicted by a military court last month for helping Islamist militant group al-Shabaab plan the murder of five fellow reporters, has been executed.

The journalist who was formerly admired and looked up to, was killed today by a firing squad in the capital, Mogadishu. Scores of journalists who witnessed the execution said Hanafi struggled as he was headed to the killing spot, that to police had to tie him to the firing post.

Last month when the court ruled that Hanafi should be killed by a firing squad like other captured al-Shabaab militants,  Hanafi said:

“I am indifferent if you kill me. You will see if killings will stop even after my death.”

The Somali military court had sentenced the broadcaster to death for assisting al-Shabaab kill five fellow reporters by identifying possible targets amongst journalists between 2007 and 2011. Hassan Hanafi  joined the Islamist militant armed wing after working for Radio Andalus, al-Shabaab’s voice in Somalia.

Since 2007, Somalia has recorded the assassination of over 25 journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists says.

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BBC Somali’s Mohammud Ali reports that Hanafi used to call up journalists and threaten them with death if they refused to join the militant group while he was still working for al-Shabaab. Judge Hassan Ali said when giving his verdict, that the proofs presented in court showed that Somali journalist Hassan Hanafi “had major roles in the plotting and slaughtering of a few journalists.”

Here Is A little Background of The killer Somali Journalist, Hassan Hanafi

Hanafi was born  in the central Hiran region of Somalia in the early 80s. He grew from being a low-ranking journalist to become a nightmare for many media practitioners. He became famous and his name was well-known to radio listeners in Somalia after 2003 when he joined Quran FM in Mogadishu. He turned into a writer for a leading Somali website in 2006.

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Years later, people started perceiving his links to the terror group as he became the key source of all breaking news or reaction from the terror group – dismissing the deaths of members while alleging victory in interviews with him.

Hanafi began threatening other broadcasters who attempted to present the terror group in a bad picture or speak against it, causing many to run out of Somalia.

The most shocking being the death of Sheikh Noor Mohamed, a senior journalist at Radio Mogadishu, in 2010. Hanafi later opened up that he initiated the killing, explaining that Mohamed lost his life for working for the government.

An al-Shabaab court convicted Hanafi guilty of an unknown crime, and ordered the cutting of  his limbs in 2011. But his contribution to the horrific group over the years made the judgement null and void.