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Somalia must prosecute officials for human rights violations, says U.N. expert

Friday May 10, 2024

Mogadishu (HOL) — During her final official visit to Somalia, Isha Dyfan, an independent expert on human rights appointed by the Human Rights Council in May 2020, called on the Somali government to take decisive actions against state officials who violate human rights. Dyfan emphasized the need for rigorous prosecution to ensure accountability and justice for victims, especially in cases of sexual and gender-based violence.

Dyfan condemned the continuous terrorist activities by Al-Shabaab, which disproportionately affect women and children. She urged the government to enhance 
protection measures for civilians under international humanitarian and human rights laws.

The expert highlighted the urgency of addressing allegations of rape and associated homicides. She advocated for immediate and thorough investigations and prosecutions to identify and bring perpetrators to justice. Dyfan also called for improved investigative capacities and a secure environment for victims to report crimes without fear of reprisal or stigma.

Dyfan expressed concerns over the suppression of civic space in Somalia, including harassment and the unjust arrest of journalists, which has led to widespread self-censorship. She stressed that a safe and inclusive civic space is crucial for good governance and the rule of law.

In her appeal to the international community, Dyfan emphasized the need for continued support in strengthening Somalia’s federal and state institutions. She highlighted the importance of international aid in building long-term resilience against Somalia’s ongoing humanitarian and climatic challenges.

Dyfan’s findings and recommendations from her visit will be presented in a comprehensive report to the United Nations Human Rights Council and to the General Assembly. 


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