UN Human Rights Council urged to confront rampant impunity for gross human rights violations in Somalia

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In the context of a worsening human rights situation and repression of journalists and their independent union in Somalia, combined with lack of accountability for serious human rights violations and abuses, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its Somalia affiliate, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), held a meeting on Somalia on side lines of the 37th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on 6 March in Geneva.

Held under the theme “Human Rights Violations and Abuses in Somalia: the fight against impunity goes on”, the panellists at the side event highlighted the scourge of impunity for violence targeting journalists in Somalia, describing it as the biggest hindrance to freedom of expression and otherfundamental human rights.

“Unforgiving attacks against journalists and their fundamental rights of freedom of expression and freedom of association including trade union rights have become entrenched and systematic where perpetrators are no longer concerned that they are committing egregious human rights abuses,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

NUSOJ attested that the climate of impunity, not only enables the perpetrators to evade prosecution for flagrant violations and abuses of freedoms of expression and association and other crimes against journalists, but also fosters a culture of continued and escalating repression. “Even when rights violations were reported there was no action. Instead, our union suffered reprisals and was threatened,” Osman added.

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