UN: UN expert tasks Somalia government on freedom of expression, death penalty

New York, US (PANA) - Somalia must put in place a legal framework that guarantees freedom
of expression in the country, as well as a moratorium on capital punishment, UN expert on
the situation of human rights in Somalia, Bahame Nyanduga, said on Tuesday.

Nyanduga, who completed his second mission to the country, said in a statement in
New York: "Somali journalists are often harassed, arrested, censored, even imprisoned, and media organizations are closed down.

"Such incidents risk having a chilling effect on this basic right, particularly essential at
a time when Somalia moves towards finalizing its State-building process."

The expert called on the Federal Government of Somalia to put in place a legal framework that
guarantees the freedom of the media, to practise their profession free of intimidation,
harassment and imprisonment.

He expressed concern at the continued application of the death penalty
throughout Somalia, despite the commitment to adopt a moratorium on capital
punishment made by the government to the UN Human Rights Council during the
2011 Universal Periodic Review of the situation in the country.

"I encourage the Somali authorities to put in place that moratorium," Nyanduga

During his eight-day mission, which began on 22 May, Nyanduga equally drew
attention to the apparent weakness in security and justice
institutions, particularly the failure by the police to provide adequate security for
the civilian population, including in camps for internally displaced people.

In response, according to the statement, Somali government officials explained efforts to increase police recruitment, particularly of female police officers and to enhance their
technical capacities.

It said the officials also outlined the efforts undertaken to provide protection to
victims of rape and gender-based violence and to encourage victims to use the
formal justice system rather than the traditional justice system.

According to the UN expert, the Federal Government and the regional authorities
need to engage in dialogue with traditional and religious leaders in the lead-up
to the constitutional referendum and elections in 2016 to encourage inclusive
participation of women, minorities and persons with disabilities in the political

He disclosed that, next year, Somalia’s human rights record will be reviewed by
other UN member states through the UN Universal Periodic Review process.

This September, Nyanduga will submit a comprehensive report on his findings and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council aimed at assisting the government
to fulfill its obligations.
-0-   PANA   AA/AR  2June2015

02 june 2015 18:08:15

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