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Investigate for War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in Somalia

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Saturday October 01, 2011 - 00:46:05 in Articles by Super Admin
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    Investigate for War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in Somalia

    EAST AND HORN OF AFRICA HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS NETWORK Press Statement

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EAST AND HORN OF AFRICA HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS NETWORK Press Statement

Investigate and Ensure Accountability for War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in Somalia

29th September 2011

The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (EHAHRD-Net), the SomaliHuman Rights Defenders Network (SOHRIDEN) and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights

Studies (CIHRS) yesterday called for accountability and the fight against impunity to be prioritizedthroughout Somalia. In an oral intervention during the interactive dialogue with the IndependentExpert on Somalia at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the organizations fully supported

Mr. Shamsul Bari in his recommendation that those who perpetrate abuses against the civilianpopulation should be held accountable.

In an intervention read by Ahmed Mohamed Ali, coordinator of the Somali Human RightsDefenders Network, the organizations denounced the heavy cost that human rights defenderscontinue to pay for ensuring that violations are monitored and reported. While no journalists mayhave been killed during the period covered by the Independent Expert�s report, two journalists havebeen killed in Mogadishu in August and September; others have been arbitrarily detained andtortured during 2011. During the past fortnight, two other journalists were shot at close range andseverely injured in Puntland. �In such a context, we regret that civil society representatives were notincluded in recent consultative meetings on ending the transition, and call on the Government,donor states and UN agencies to offer political as well as logistical and financial support to civilsociety,� said Mr. Ahmed Mohamed.

The attention given by Independent Expert�s to the current food crisis and the need to deal with theroot causes of this catastrophe become ever more urgent and apparent. One significant factor is theculture of impunity and lack of accountability that fatally undermines the ability of governmentinstitutions to effectively tackle the serious challenges Somalia faces.

CIHRS, EHAHRDP, SFS and SOHRIDEN therefore fully support Mr. Bari�s recommendation thatall those who perpetrate abuses against the civilian population, in transgression of their obligationsunder international humanitarian and human rights law, should be held accountable in a timely andtransparent manner. During the Universal Periodic Review of Somalia, a number of Statesrecommended the establishment of independent international commission of inquiry or similarmechanism to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity. This recommendation and othersrelating to the administration of justice should be implemented as a matter of priority.News that preparations are underway to place more UN staff in Mogadishu, including the newDeputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, is very welcome. The organizations hope

that this will provide much needed support to civil society and allow more systematic monitoringand reporting of the daily rights violations committed by all actors to take place.

For the webcast of this statement and the complete Interactive Dialogue with the IndependentExpert on Somalia, please see: http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/2011/09/cihrsinteractive-dialogue-on-somalia-33rd-plenary-meeting.html

For EHAHRDP and CIHRS� statement of 21st September 2011 on Somalia�s UPR, please see:

http://www.defenddefenders.org/index.php/our-publications/press-releases/134-oralintervention-consideration-of-universal-periodic-review-report-on-somalia



For more information, please contact Hassan Shire, Chairperson of EHAHRD-Net on +41 793 375

875 or [email protected] or Rachel Nicholson, Advocacy Officer at EHAHRDP on +256 778 921274 or [email protected]


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