UN HRC: Oral Intervention Following Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia

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Human Rights Council: 27th Session

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

 Oral Intervention

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

Delivered by Mr. Hassan Shire

 

Thank you Mr. President,

Let me firstly congratulate Mr. Nyanduga on his new mandate as the Independent Expert on Somalia, and on his first report to the Human Rights Council. Myself, and my organisation wish him every success.

Mr. President, exactly one year ago today, the Human Rights Council convened a stand alone high level interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Somalia, at which a number of key recommendations were made. Since that time, the political, security and human rights situation in Somalia has continued to deteriorate. The risks facing human rights defenders have grown ever more acute.

Mr. President, we echo the independent Expert’s concerns at the continuing reports of harassment, intimidation and arbitrary killing of journalists and threats directed at media houses. Over the last year, attacks against human rights defenders and journalists have continued to grow in scope and severity. In the last few weeks for example, at least 19 media workers, including three prominent journalists of Shabelle Media Network were arrested, pressured to go off air and charged by the office of the Attorney General. Just two weeks ago, state security forces arrested and arbitrarily detained Hassan Ali Geesey, Director of Radio Dalson for more than 24 hours, jailing him in dangerous and inhumane conditions.

Mr. President, we also echo the Independent Expert’s belief that NGOs and other civil society organizations play a critical role in enabling the Government to implement its Six Pillar Policy. We strongly endorse the continuation of the Independent Expert’s vital mandate, and call upon the Independent Expert, with the support of the Human Rights Council, to pay renewed focus to the acute risks facing independent human rights voices in the country.

I thank you.

 

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Human Rights Defender of the month: Kasale Maleton Mwaana

Kasale’s human rights activism precedes his years. The son of pastoralist parents from Ngorongoro district in northern Tanzania, he grew up seeing his parents and entire community having to defend their land and way of life against authorities who thought their lands could be put to better use. Now, at 25, Kasale is already one of the most recognizable advocates of his people’s cause, much to the ire of Tanzanian authorities.
“Our people’s struggle goes back many generations. It started with the pushing out of our forefathers from Serengeti to gazette Serengeti National Park in 1959, and then further evictions from the Ngorongoro crater to gazette the Ngorongoro conservation area in 1975. Since then, every generation has had to resist further evictions. It’s now my generation’s turn,” he says.

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