Item 10: Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Human Rights in Somalia


Hassan Ali Gesey at the 30th Session of the Human Rights Council

30th September 2015

Oral Intervention

East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP)

Delivered by Mr Hassan Ali Gesey

Thank you Mr. President,

The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project and the Somali Independent Media Houses Association welcomes this interactive dialogue, and the report of Mr Tom Nyanduga on the human rights situation in Somalia.

As an independent journalist in Somalia, I join M. Nyanduga in his concern for the situation of the media in Somalia.

Journalists in Somalia are caught between a rock and a hard place. They are working in a space threatened by both the government of Somalia and the terrorist organization Al Shabaab.

Since 1990, at least 52 journalists have been killed in relation to their work. Journalists today face increased intimidation and physical attacks perpetrated by Al Shabaab in all part of Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland.

In July 2015, Al Ahlusuna group shut down 5 radio stations, arrested 7 journalists and seized their equipment.

Today, reporting on sensitive issues, such as corruption, human rights or Al Shabaab can mean risking our livelihood, and sometimes our life. Somalia is now the most dangerous country for journalists in Africa.

Mr President, I echo M. Nyanduga in his call for the government to ensure the protection of the rights to freedom of expression and particularly ensure that journalists in south central Somalia, Puntland and Somaliland are able to practice their profession freely and in a safe environment.

Proper investigations should be conducted into the killings of journalists and media workers and the alleged perpetrators fully prosecuted

The draft media bill being proposed by the government should be revised as recommended by the Independent expert. The media law should protect journalists, not make them more vulnerable.

I thank you.


Human Rights Defender of the month: Alex Njenga John

Alex Njenga has always believed in egalitarianism both as a principle and as a tool for justice. As a result, he has always been suspicious of, and at times hostile to social prejudices that treat some people as “more equal than others,” – to use a line from George Orwell’s famed political fable, Animal Farm.

Some of the experiences that have shaped his social and political outlook have been personal. As an adolescent in Kenya’s Uasin Gishu County, Alex was stigmatised and denied healthcare after he identified himself as belonging to Kenya’s sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) community.