Killing of human rights defenders continues in Somalia, warns UN expert

GENEVA -- The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Dr. Shamsul Bari, warned that the killing of human defenders continues in the country, and strongly condemned the recent wave of violence.

Dr. Bari is deeply saddened by the killing of Ms. Duniya Sheikh Doon chairwoman of the local IIDA branch a Somali women's development organization in the town of Guriel on 25 October and of Ms. Mariam "Dabayarey" Aden Mohamed, chairwoman of the Bay region women's organization in Baidoa on 3 November 2008.

He also condemned the extra-judicial execution by stoning to death on 27 October of Ms Aisha Ibrahim Dhuhulow after having been charged with adultery by men who had allegedly raped her. The stoning violates the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, of which Somalia is a State Party, as well as Somali law.

"Extra-judicial killing, summary and arbitrary execution constitute a cruel and unacceptable atrocity and a violation to the right to life that the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the International Community should address sooner than later". Dr. Bari said

Last month, the UN Independent Expert deplored the killing of two UN staff and the wounding of two others, and urged the TFG to investigate these violations and bring those responsible to justice

Dr. Bari, who visited Somalia in July, urged all parties to the conflict to abide by the provisions of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights, as well as to their commitments under the Djibouti Agreement.

The Independent Expert expressed his sincere condolences and solidarity with the families of the victims.