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Mother of slain rickshaw driver said son was killed despite paying 10K SOS bribe

Friday January 27, 2023


Mogadishu (HOL) - A police officer killed an autorickshaw operator, Mohamed Hassan 'Djibouti,' on Thursday for 10,000 Somali shillings - less than $0.50-  in Mogadishu.

Eyewitnesses say that the slain paid the 10,000 bribe money at an illegal checkpoint but was still shot dead for an unknown reason.

"The deceased was deliberately killed after he paid a 10,000 Somali shillings bribe in cash. When he paid, the police officer at the checkpoint followed him on a motorcycle and shot him as if he were an enemy. After being shot, he asked the officer,  "what do you want from me? I've paid'  He died as a result of the bullet in his artery," said a bystander.

The witness added that after murdering Mohamed, the soldier handed his weapon to another officer at the checkpoint and quietly slipped away without speaking with anyone.

Ra'wi Osman, the deceased's mother, told the media that her son was the sole family breadwinner.

"My son was unjustly killed. Despite paying the bribe, he was killed in cold blood. He rose early and went to work to provide a living for his family, but now he's gone. 

Ms. Osman called on authorities to deliver justice to her family.

 " I demand that the soldier who killed my son is arrested."
Civilians - especially young men who drive autorickshaws - are increasingly being slain by government soldiers who are supposed to protect them. Mogadishu residents have noticed that the murders usually happen late in the morning - usually before noon - just as the khaat planes are offloaded and about to hit local markets.

Last week, a soldier shot and killed another autorickshaw driver near the Howl-Wadaag intersection in Mogadishu. 

Mohamed Hayle was shot by security services while inside his 'Bajaj' autorickshaw taxi after a brief dispute. 

Hayle's fellow Bajaj drivers began a demonstration demanding the arrest of the officer who killed Hayle, but the government has not made any arrests public.

Earlier this month, the military court in Mogadishu sentenced a soldier to death for murdering Abubakar Mohamed Nourani, a small trader in Mogadishu's Hamarweyne district.

The court said the 65-year-old victim was killed for 5,000 Somali shillings or less than a quarter dollar USD.


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