VOA officials issued a statement condemning the “senseless murder” of a journalist they described as a longtime friend of Voice of America.
The statement was by Broadcasting Board of Governors Chairman James K. Glassman and VOA Director Daniel W. Austin
On Saturday, Ali Iman Sharmarke, co-owner and founder of HornAfrik Media Company, and Mahad Ahmed Elmi, director of HornAfrik’s Capitol Voice FM station, were murdered in separate incidents. VOA called this “yet another example of attempts to silence the independent media in Somalia. Their deaths bring to a total of six the number of media workers murdered in the country this year.”
Sharmarke established the country’s first independent radio station, HornAfrik, in Mogadishu. HornAfrik has been a VOA affiliate for several years, broadcasting both English to Africa and, more recently, Somali-language programs, the agency said. It called him “a courageous and uncompromising force for good in the world.