28 September 2017

Somalia: IFJ Urges UN Human Rights Council to Act to Stop Rights Crisis

press release

Secretary-General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and member of the IFJ Executive Committee Omar Faruk Osman addressed the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Wednesday 27 September 2017. Osman highlighted the abuse of human rights in Somalia, particularly attacks on journalists, trade unions and freedom of expression.

Secretary-General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and member of the IFJ Executive Committee Omar Faruk Osman addressed the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Wednesday 27 September 2017. Osman highlighted the abuse of human rights in Somalia, particularly attacks on journalists, trade unions and freedom of expression.

Since the last UNHRC report into the state of human rights in Somalia, 2 journalists have been killed, 10 wounded and 21 arrested whilst three media houses have been shut down.

"Despite the recent change of the country's leadership, the abuses perpetrated by the previous regime continued with impunity," said Osman. "There are no dissuasive sanctions imposed on those engaging in or masterminding human rights' violations, and there is no access to effective remedies. On the contrary, individuals who had acted to undermine trade unions and harass their legitimate leaders were promoted and given senior posts."

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) supervisory mechanisms investigated the Somali government's systemic violations of trade unions rights such as freedom of association against NUSOJ and the national trade union federation. The ILO made various recommendations, which were lauded by Somalia's State Attorney General however the government has failed to comply with them.

Referring to the repeated instances of human rights violations and the failure of the Somali government to implement the ILO's recommendations, Osman called on the UN Human Rights Council to take urgent action stop the "human rights crisis" in Somalia.

Mr Osman said, "we therefore call on the UN Human Rights Council to act urgently to stop the human rights crisis that the country started to descend to by holding Somalia accountable for both, its widespread human rights abuses, and its contempt of the UN human rights mechanisms such as the ILO."

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