According to reports, Abdi Jeylani Malaq (43), known as Marshale, was killed by two young men yesterday as he left the radio station where he worked in Somalia. Marshale was a producer, performer, and one of Somalia’s most popular comedians. He took a chance when he chose to mock Islamist militants for brainwashing children, using child soldiers, and killing civilians, and he paid the price. “Hey, young boys, you can’t move back from the enemy shelling…instead just stay there and fight,” he said as he took on a role of an Al-Shabaab commander, and spoke via phone to young troops while he sat far away from the front-line in an ocean-side perch.
It wasn’t immediately clear who had gunned the comedian down, but became apparent when it was revealed that he had received threats from Al-Shabaab, an Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group. Malaq worked for Universal TV, and frequently impersonated Islamist fighters in his comedy routines and popular dramas which he wrote.
He received gunshot wounds to the head and chest, and died in the capital’s Madina hospital.
“He brought smiles to our faces when all…was dark and gloomy. He was a genius comedian,” says Mohamed Deq Abdi, a Mogadishu resident.
Malaq is the seventh journalist to be killed this year in Somalia, and journalist Abdulkadir Omar Abdulle narrowly escaped an attack in Mogadishu on July 7th. He was shot at close range in the stomach and leg.
“This is a black day for the entire entertainment industry,” says Yusuf Keynan, a radio presenter who worked with Malaq, “he was a leader in Somalia comedy and everybody liked his performance.”
Reporters Without Borders released a statement as well in regard to Malaq’s death and the targeted attacks against media professionals.
“This tragedy is a cruel reminder that nothing stops free expression’s enemies in Africa’s deadliest country for the media. Anyone who dares to speak out against Al-Shabaab’s crimes in Somalia is signing their own death warrant.”
It has been demanded by the Amnesty International group that the international community and the authorities take action to reestablish the rule of law in Somalia.
Somalian Comedian Shot after Joking about Islam
Somali comedian who poked fun at al qaeda shot dead
Gunmen shot dead a well-known comedian known for poking fun at Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgents in the Somali capital Mogadishu, officials and colleagues said Wednesday.