Impunity guaranteed for violence against journalists in Somalia

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Abdirisak Ali Abdi, who was 25 and married with two sons, also worked for a London-based television station [Garowe Online]
Reporters Without Borders condemns journalist Abdirisak Ali Abdi’s murder on 18 November 2014 in Galkayo, in the northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland. This unclaimed killing has yet again highlighted the urgent need to break the cycle of impunity in Somalia, one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists.Also known as “Silver,” Abdi was in a restaurant when two gunmen walked in and shot him several times. He died shortly after being rushed to a hospital. He freelanced for various media including Radio Daljir, based in Puntland, and HornCable TV, based in the neighbouring region of Somaliland.

Aged 25, he is survived by a wife and two children.

His close colleague, Ahmed Ali Kilwe, the Deputy Director of Radio Galkayo has since then received phone threats telling him he « will be next ». He fears for his life.

“We are deeply shocked by Abdi’s murder and worried about the threats made against Ahmed Ali Kilwe,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk. “Unfortunately working as a journalist in Somalia entails a constant risk of being killed, attacked threatened or thrown in prison.

“This now routine violence does enormous harm to freedom of information by inducing journalists to censor themselves on such subjects as rebel groups, corruption and human rights violations. We call on the Puntland authorities to investigate Abdi’s murder in order to identify his killers and bring them to justice.”

Not an isolated act

The climate of intimidation and violence against journalists has worsened steadily in recent months. Nure Mohammed Ali, a freelance journalist working for Radio Kulmyie and other media, was badly injured by a car bomb in Mogadishu on 9 November. Abirizak Jama Elmi, London-based Somali Channel Television’s Mogadishu bureau chief, narrowly escaped a murder attempt on 12 October and is still in need of intensive medical assistance. Freelance journalist Yusuf Keynan was not as lucky. He was killed by a bomb placed under his car in June.

Aside from the various political disputes, faction fighting and demands for autonomy, all the acts of violence against journalists have one thing in common – impunity. There has been only one conviction in the 43 murders of journalists since 2009. The victim was Hassan Yusuf Absuge and his killer, a member of the Al-Shabaab Islamist militia, was summarily executed in August 2013, a sentence RWB had condemned at the time.

Physical attacks against journalists are often the work of rebel groups such as Al-Shabaab, which is on the Reporters Without Borders list of “Predators of Press Freedom.” But the government is also guilty of abusing its authority with journalists, constantly ordering illegal closures of news outlets and carrying out arbitrary arrests.

Members of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) held journalist Abdirizak Omar Ahmed for three days after arresting him at his home on 10 November for allegedly collaborating with Al-Andalus, the Al-Shabaab radio station.

Mohamed Abdillahi, a journalist with privately-owned Somali Channel TV, was arrested in mid-report on 3 November in Berbera, in the northwestern region of Somaliland, and was held by the police for several hours.

Mukhtar Nuh Ibrahim of HornCable TV and Mohamed Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of SomSat TV spent several days in prison the same week in Gabiley, another Somaliland town, for distributing footage of a demonstration that the authorities accused them of instigating.

In early September, officials acting arbitrarily closed several radio stations temporarily and arrested employees for broadcasting a statement by Al-Shabaab’s spokesman. Radio Shabelle and Sky FM, two stations owned by the Shabelle Media Network, were raided by police and closed on 15 August for allegedly endangering national security.

Two of the four Shabelle Media Network employees arrested during the raids, Radio Shabelle editor Mohamed Bashir Hashi and Sky FM director Mohamud Mohamed Dahir, are still being held without trial while those that have been released live in fear of being arrested again.

Somalia is ranked 176th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

 

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Virginity tests on Indonesia police condemned Rights group says female police required to strip and undergo “two-finger test” to prove virginity before recruitment.

qqWomen currently make up about three percent of the 400,000-strong force [File: EPA]

Human Rights Watch has urged Indonesia’s national police to halt “discriminatory” virginity tests for women applying to join the force in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

The rights group said on Tuesday that women applicants were required to be both unmarried and virgins, and that the virginity test is still widely used despite the insistence of some senior police officials that it has been stopped.

I don’t want to remember those bad experiences. It was humiliating. Why should we take off our clothes in front of strangers?

A woman subjected to the test

In a series of interviews with HRW, young women – including some who underwent the test as recently as this year – described the procedure as painful and traumatic.

The women told how they were forced to strip naked before female medics gave them a “two-finger test” – a practice described by HRW as archaic and discredited.

“I don’t want to remember those bad experiences. It was humiliating,” said one 19-year-woman who took the test in the city of Pekanbaru, on western Sumatra island, and whose identity was not disclosed.

“Why should we take off our clothes in front of strangers? It is not necessary. I think it should be stopped.”

Nisha Varia, associate women’s rights director at HRW, described the tests as “a discriminatory practice that harms and humiliates women.

“Police authorities in Jakarta need to immediately and unequivocally abolish the test, and then make certain that all police recruiting stations nationwide stop administering it.”

Virginity valued

The tests contravene the police’s own guidelines on recruitment and violate international human rights to equality, non-discrimination and privacy, HRW said.

Police did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

While senior police have insisted in recent years that virginity tests for female applicants have been stopped, HRW said a posting on the force’s own website this month noted that female applicants must undergo the procedure.

Women currently make up about three percent of the 400,000-strong force, HRW said, but added the police had launched a drive to increase the number of female officers.

Society is deeply conservative in parts of Indonesia and some still value female virginity highly.

The issue hit the headlines last year, when the education chief of a city sparked outrage by suggesting that teenage schoolgirls should undergo virginity tests to enter senior high school.

 

Source:
Agencies
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Farhan Akhtar announced as UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia

Actor calls on men and boys to join UN Women’s HeForShe initiative, and mobilize for gender equality -

2323Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka meets with newly appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia, Farhan Akhtar. He is the first man to take on the role in the organization’s history. Photo: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh

Mumbai — UN Women, the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment, today announced the appointment of actor-filmmaker-singer Farhan Akhtar as its South Asia Goodwill Ambassador. Farhan is the first man to be chosen as a Goodwill Ambassador in the organization’s history.

An accomplished and well-respected actor-filmmaker-singer, Farhan Akhtar has not only made his presence felt in the Indian film industry with his versatility, but has represented the voice of numerous concerned men on the important issue of gender equality and violence against women and girls in India through his Men Against Rape and Discrimination (MARD) campaign.

Farhan will dedicate his efforts as UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia towards the empowerment of women and girls, and will serve as an advocate for UN Women’s newly launched HeForShe initiative in advocating for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

“We are pleased and honoured to have Farhan as our Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia, for we believe his work and values represent the core values of UN Women,” stated UN Women Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “Farhan started his own campaign, MARD — Men Against Rape and Discrimination — that aims to sensitize men and create awareness about the safety of women. That kind of engagement is essential. We need creative and committed men like Farhan to push the gender equality and women’s empowerment agenda. I am convinced that Farhan’s passion and conviction for the cause will galvanize a multiplier effect and reach the hearts and minds of men and boys in South Asia and beyond,” added Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka.

The MARD campaign has successfully encouraged many actors to join this campaign and spread awareness. Corporations like Google have also engaged with the initiative to empower women through Internet literacy.

“I am honoured to serve UN Women as the Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia,” said Mr. Akhtar. “This gives me and our MARD initiative an added impetus to work together towards a more gender equal India and world. I am a supporter of UN Women’s HeForShe campaign and the role men and boys can play in stopping crime against women and girls, and working towards gender equality. Through this new partnership I want to call on all men and boys to be a catalyst for change and, through our actions, create a value system to end gender disparity.”

Mr. Akhtar’s appointment coincides with the visit of UN Women’s top official to India. Earlier in the week she met with the President of India and senior ministers of the new government, and participated in the 2nd Global MenEngage Symposium, which brought together more than 400 NGOs working on gender justice in New Delhi. The visit to India comes as UN Women’s global initiative Beijing+20 “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture It” is reigniting a global conversation on gender equality and women’s rights in the lead up to the 20th anniversary of the historic 1995 Beijing Conference, which produced what is considered the most comprehensive women’s rights agenda, the Beijing Platform for Action.
UN Women’s other Goodwill Ambassadors include British actor Emma Watson, Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman and HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol of Thailand.

About UN Women
UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. For more information, visit www.unwomen.org

About UN Women’s HeForShe Campaign
HeForShe is a solidarity movement which calls upon men and boys to stand up against the persisting inequalities faced by women and girls globally. The campaign strengthens the support for women’s rights as human rights by enlisting the support of men and exhorting them to put themselves forward as advocates for gender equality. For more information, visit http://www.heforshe.org/          

For further information:
Oisika Chakrabarti
UN Women
646.781.4522
oisika.chakrabarti@unwomen.org

Saroja Shankaran
Edelman India
+91 9820079804
saroja.shankaran@edelman.com

Source  UN  women

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Engaging Men

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As part of its Beijing+20 campaign and its work to engage men and boys on gender equality and women’s empowerment, UN Women is participating in the second MenEngage Global Symposium from 10-13 November in Delhi, India. Hosted by the MenEngage Alliance, a global network of civil society organizations working to advance gender equality, the theme of this year’s event is “Men and Boys for Gender Justice”.

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka officially inaugurated the Symposium (read her inaugural speech), which included a HeForShe conversation on male accountability for gender equality. In her speech at the Opening Plenary, she said gender equality can only be achieved if men and boys take full responsibility, working side by side with women and girls, to redress the dynamics that hinder progress. UN Women is participating in several events at the three-day-long Symposium.

UN Women’s work on engaging men and boys for gender equality is anchored in the belief that achieving gender equality is about transforming unequal power relations between men and women. This involves challenging notions of masculinity and traditional perceptions of manhood. It requires men to question power dynamics in their actions or their words at the personal, interpersonal and societal level and to take responsibility for change. Men need to be engaged as gender advocates – speaking out as active agents and stakeholders who can transform social norms, behaviours and gender stereotypes that perpetuate discrimination and inequality.

Be it through its recently launched “HeForShe” initiative, which has already galvanized citizens around the world to sign up to do their part for gender equality, or its policy and programme work, UN Women is actively engaging men and boys for women’s rights. From the classroom to the streets, local leaders and everyday male champions are addressing violence against women and redefining masculine identities through community intervention programmes, education and even music.

Our work to engage men:

Rwandan man

In Rwanda, men work to change attitudes and confront gender-based violence
Nearly 3,000 local leaders have already been educated and engaged to fight gender-based violence by a men’s resource centre that is promoting the concept of “positive masculinity”.

Fiji men holding banner

In Fiji, communities mobilize ground-up to end violence against women and girls
Street workers and the homeless are raising awareness and halting violence against women in public spaces, while more than 700 students and teachers are educating to transform attitudes in 63 schools across Fiji.

Mozambique man

Men in the kitchen: cooking up change in Mozambique
An innovative programme is increasing men’s participation in domestic activities to promote gender equality and address violence against women and girls. At least 1,600 men have taken part in the course, complemented by a series of awareness-raising activities.

boys at violence prevention programme

In Dominica, a violence-prevention programme helps boys overcome gender stereotypes
A Community Intervention Programme piloted on two Caribbean islands is breaking through traditional stereotypes around gender while teaching boys about self-restraint and how to nurture healthy relationships.

Father holding daughter in Turkey

Allies against violence: fatherhood training to end discrimination against women in Turkey
In Turkey a ‘fatherhood programme’ is mobilizing awareness on prevention of violence against women and girls by promoting gender sensitivity and equity among fathers.

Palestinian hip hop group DAM raises awareness of ‘honour killings’ through a powerful music video
Supported and funded by UN Women, this state-of-the-art production by a male hip hop group aims has been raising awareness and mobilizing Arab youth against violence around the world.

Mwasapi Kihongosi

How ending violence against women and girls became my passion
A remarkable young man from Tanzania, 24-year-old Mwasapi Kihongosi won the global UNiTE T-shirt design competition in 2011, then climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and led a Caravan for Change against violence and harmful traditional practices in 2012. He tells us how this plight became his passion.

Video
Featured Video
Bro Thats Not OK

Violence against women is no laughing matter. UN Women, in support of the UNiTE Campaign to End Violence against Women, is reaching out to young men and boys in Asia to raise awareness and fight against acceptability and tolerance of violence against women. The message is simple: When it comes to violence against women, there is no grey zone. BRO, IT’S NEVER OK.

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Democracy and human rights, Dimoqraadiyada iyo xaquuqda aadanaha ,

Qiimaha    xoriyada qofka  iyo tixgelinta xaquuqda aadanuhu waxay ka mid yihiin   mabaadiida    in la tixgeliyo mudan   xaquuqda aadanuhu  waa aasaaska  xoriyada ,maamulka  iyo hogaanka  jilicsan   waxay kamid yihiin   waxyaabaha ka horiyimaada lidkana ku ah  dimoqraadiyada iyo xaquuqda aadanaha

Waxaa ka dhexeeya dimoqraadiyada  iyo xaquuqda aadanaha xariir  xaquuqda aadanuhu waxay dhowrtaa   dhamaan dadka sida  kuwa laga tirada badan yahay minorities sida  kuwa curyaamiinta ah disabilities, indigenous peoples (dadka dhulka loogu yimid  ee dhiban)

Xaquuqda aadanahu waa mid qofkastaa xaq uleeyahay  in ladhawro xaquuqdiisa   loona sinaado  iyada oo la tix gelinaya xaquuqda shacab iyo tan siyaasaded ee qofkaasi leeyahay   aana lagu xadgudbayn waxyaabaha ugu muhiimsan  ee dimoqraadiyada waxaa kamida

1 -          Freedom    of association  ( xoriyada ururada)

dadku  waxay si xor ah u samaysan karaan  ururo u hadla xaquuqdooda aasaasiga ah qofkas taana waxaa uu si xor ah ugeli karaa  ururka uu doono iyada o o aan lagu faqooqayn  midabkiisa ,diintiisa iyo  mabdaiisa

2-     Freedom of expression   ( in qof ku sixora  u hadlo una dhiibto figradiisa)

qofku waxaa uu si xor ah u dhiiban karaa   aragtidiisa   waana in aan lagu faqooqin laguna dhibaa tayn waxaa mudan in la caawiyo  dumarka udoodaya xaquuqdooda   una  halgamaya  xaquuqdooda aasaasiga ah

As  freedom house says  ,Support the right of every individual to be free

Tacadiya    lagula kaco dumarku   waa mid maalin kasta sii kordhaysa waxay  aad uga badan tahay  tacadiyada lagu la kaco  raga  waxaana  ka mida  tacadiyadaas   caga juglayn  intimidation, assaults,torture , rape  ETC

Sowora waxay taageerisa  in si dhab ah loo ilaaliyo dimoqraadiyada iyo xaquuqda aadanaha

Abdikani  Hassan .

Human rights activist

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Somali Religious leaders and Scholars stand against extremism at Istanbul conference

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A three day conference on tackling extremism and tribalism began in Istanbul yesterday. The conference organised by Anti-Tribalism Movement, a London based Somali education and advocacy civil society organisation, brought together participants came from all over the world and every sector of Somali society. Among these participants were scholars, religious leaders, women and young people.

On the opening day of the conference many topics such as Jihad in Islam and Alshabaab’s misguided portrayals, history of alShabaab, The legacy of Alshabaab from victim’s prospective, the role of artists in confronting radicalisation and the birth of religious extremism and their Ideology were discussed and debated. Among the speakers who presented on these wide ranging topics were Sheikh Bashir Ahmed Salad, the head of Somali religious umbrella, Sheikh Abdirazak Mohamud Takar and Muhammad Idd Muhammad , Sheikh Mohamed Idris Ahmed, Sheikh Noor Baruud, Abwaan Said Salah, Abwaan Abdi Shire Jama and Yusuf Garad Omar

“This conference aims to bring together credible voices of the Somali communities from all over the world to discuss tribalism and extremisim and get recommendations. We hope that these recommendations will have impact and tint the image of Al-shabaab” said the Exective Directive of ATM Mr. Adam Matan.

The impact of AlShabaab’s terror and violence against the population was presented by two of their victims who travelled directly from Mogadishu to participate. Both told painful stories of which moved the audience and in the words of one of them, “should strengthen the Somali governments fight against these misguided killers.”

 

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Ending violence against women

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Violence against women is a human rights violation and a serious impediment to women’s progress in any area of life. It undercuts women’s health, prospects for education and productive work, and ability to participate as full members of their societies, among other consequences.

Sobering numbers show how common violence is — and how many forms it takes. Around the world, 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner. About 120 million girls have been forced into intercourse or other sexual acts at some point in their lives. In 29 countries alone, 133 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation.

More than 700 million women alive today were married as children. Almost all of the estimated 4.5 million victims of forced sexual exploitation are women and girls.

The 189 UN Member States who adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action took up the global call to end all forms of violence against women and girls by highlighting violence as one of their 12 critical areas of concern. They agreed on a comprehensive definition of what violence is, whether it takes place in the family or community, or is perpetrated or condoned by the State.

They recognized that violence is one of the main mechanisms denying women equality, and that it imposes high social, health and economic costs.

Since Beijing, an historic two-thirds of countries have put laws on the books to stop domestic violence. Advocacy campaigns around the world have heightened awareness and galvanized actions to stop violence. These involve committed women and girls, men and boys. Yet gaps in laws, implementation of legal protection and essential services remain. Women are still reluctant to report violence. Attitudes in some places tolerate, if not encourage, it.

The promise of Beijing was that governments, community organizations, schools, businesses and others would work tirelessly to stop violence, in whatever form it takes. Momentum has begun, but needs to rapidly accelerate. The world can be free from violence — that is women’s inherent right.

Source  UN WOMEN

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