(15.12.2020) – Coalition of Somalia Human Rights Defenders CSHRDS monitored and documented increasing number of HRDS at risk in Somalia mainly women since 2018. Observations made CSHRDS show that HRDs often face arbitrary arrests, targeted killing, and enforced disappearance, for simply because of doing their human rights advocacy work e.g. documenting human rights violations, advocating for human rights in general due to conflict of interest.
According to CSHRDS research most of the HRDS at risk come from south and central Somalia who mainly face targeted killing and forced disappearance and the worst regions to mention include so called Jubaland, south west sate, Hirshabelle, and Galmudug, based on the level of insecurity risks and challenges facing HRDs working there. Women human rights defenders are more often targeted because of the sensitivity of the human work they are doing and the traditional norms that consider women should stay at home and potential conflict of interest with the key actors i.e. human rights violators.
CSHRDS has learned that HRDs are targeted by all sides to the conflict in Somalia namely; the government and Alshabab terrorists because of their human rights advocacy that can expose human abuse by the key actors in their relative territory of control, and fearing exposure, so they are targeting HRDs to intimate, harass or even kill them to undermine their human work which is very important to improve the human rights situation in Somalia.
HRDs at risk who accepted to be registered by the CSHRDS include: (we will use abbreviated names, in order to protect)
1. M. C. M., she worked as a project coordinator (gender equality and sexual violence prevention) at the of Women Human Rights Action center WHRAC which is a feminist organization based in Kismayo, Somalia, and because of her work, she faced threats of aritrary arrests and killing.
2. Sh. A. G., She worked in rural areas as women human rights defender at the Horn Afrik News Agency for Human Rights HANAHR in Luuq Jeelow, 25 km south of Beledweyne to campaign against forced marriages of young girls, FGM and systematic rape of women in rural areas . Because of her human rights advocacy work, she faced physical attacks, murder threats.
3. A. Y. M., she worked worked in both Beledweyne and Kismayo, as a program manager at the of Women Human Rights Action center WHRAC which is a feminist organization based in Kismayo, Somalia, ans she worked (gender equality and sexual violence prevention) and because of her work, she faced threats of arbitrary arrests and killing.
4. S. A. she worked worked in both Beledweyne and Kismayo, as a chairwoman at the of Women Human Rights Action center WHRAC which is a feminist organization based in Kismayo, Somalia, ans she worked directing gender equality and sexual violence prevention work and because of her work, she faced threats of arbitrary arrests and killing.
5. I. A. H., he worked in Beledweyne city and its suburbs as senior lead of human rights advocacy for the HANAHR.net on targeted media advocacy on human rights e.g. child soldier recruitment and sexual violence and impunity as well as strategic litigation and access to justice, and because of his human rights advocacy work, he faced physical attacks and death threats.
6. A. A. worked for SOHRA.org which is non-Profit, non-Government organization as well as independent human rights and humanitarian organization. He worked for the rights of local community and their services without making distinction of any kind among peoples, such as race, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, or any other reason. He advocated for the political, civil and economic rights of the IDPs especially girls and women in Banadir region (Mogadishu) and because of his work , he faced death threats.
7. N. X. C. is young WHRD working on the protection of young girls against forced Marriages and FGM as well as GBV. She works in rural areas for hanahr and is women and girls rights protection officer and consequently faced persecution and threats related to her human rights work and had to leave Somalia.
8. F. A. is WHRD working on the legal advocacy for women and girls rights who are victims of rape, GBV, forced marriages, and FGM at grass root level, in rural communities where alshabab terrorists are actively operating in Somalia. Due to her human rights work, she has to face persecution and threats and consequently left Somalia.
CSHRDS investigated all claims of the HRDs at risk e.g. their situation for example; the threat level they faced and was able to confirm their claims as legitimate, logic and reasonable based observations, documentation and personal interviews, and therefore; CSHRDS is asking for immediate protection for all HRDs at risk listed in this report as their situation is serious and requires immediate action for protection.
CSHRDS ADVOCACY DESK