Interactive Dialogue on Somalia - Joint Statement at the Human Rights Council
33rd session of the Human Rights Council
CIVICUS and the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project thank the Independent Expert on Somalia for his report.
As Somalia prepares for its electoral process later this year, we take this opportunity to welcome steps taken by the government to strengthen its human rights framework in preparation for the election.
While recognising this progress, we call on Somali authorities to make a concerted effort to address undue restrictions on freedom of expression. In particular, we call on Somalia to ensure that government officials’ threats and intimidation of media workers are swiftly and effectively investigated. In June 2016, Puntland Ministry of Information issued a directive restricting journalists from interviewing persons linked to pirates and terrorists, and in an audio recording, the Minister of Information threatened to use force and to kill journalists who violate the order. Although Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the majority of violations committed against media workers, the Government should cease its practice of closing radio stations and arresting journalists deemed critical.