February 8, 2006

Killers of BBC journalist in Somalia “enjoy impunity”

NAIROBI (Reuters) - The investigation into the murder of
BBC producer Kate Peyton in Mogadishu a year ago has gone
nowhere and her killers live openly in the Somali capital, an
international press freedom group said on Wednesday.

"Peyton's murderers enjoy complete impunity in Mogadishu,"
Reporters Without Borders said in a statement issued together
with the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) to mark
the anniversary of the killing.

"We share the dismay of Peyton's family and colleagues at
seeing them go scot-free for the past year," they added.

Peyton, 39, was shot and killed on February 9 last year
shortly after arriving in the capital of the lawless Horn of
Africa nation. She had spent the last 10 years in Africa and
had worked for the BBC as a reporter and producer since 1993.

At least eight foreign journalists have been killed
covering Somalia since the overthrow of Mohammed Siad Barre's
government in 1991. Peyton's murder was the first killing of a
foreign journalist in Somalia in several years.

Lawlessness has continued to plague Mogadishu despite the
formation in 2004 of the Somali Transitional Federal Government
in neighboring Kenya. It is Somalia's 14th attempt to form a
functioning government in the past 15 years.

Reporters Without Borders and NUSOJ called on Somalia's
judicial authorities to carry out a proper investigation and
arrest the killers, whom it said belonged to a well-known clan.

"The Somali government, which condemned this 'act of
savagery' and offered a reward for information leading to the
capture of Peyton's killers, should ensure that justice is done
quickly in this case," the statement said.

The groups did not name the people it said killed Peyton or
give further details of their identity.