Posts Tagged ‘Somalia’

Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman from Somalia named 2020 Aurora Prize winners

September 17, 2020

Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman from Somalia named 2020 Aurora Prize Laureates

On 17 September 2020 it was announced that fifth annual Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity went to Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman, the mother and daughter team who lead the Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre in Somalia. [for more on this and other humanitarian awards see: https://thedigestapp-public.trueheroesfilms.org/award/35D4B5E3-D290-5DF9-08E1-14E6B3012FFA]. Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman have selected three organizations for share the 1,000,000 prize money: – Love Does, Panzi Foundation, and Prajwala – that fight for freedom and human rights, provide healthcare to marginalized populations, and save victims of sex-trafficking to be the beneficiaries of their million dollar prize.Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman were chosen among the 2020 Aurora Humanitarians, or finalists, announced on April 24, 2020. Besides the Somali human rights defenders, these outstanding heroes include Congolese activist Angélique Namaika, refugee rescuers Sophie Beau and Klaus Vogel, and educator Sakena Yacoobi from Afghanistan..Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman have been protecting women’s rights, promoting peacebuilding, and rehabilitating child soldiers for many years. Their courage, resilience, and unwavering commitment to the people of Somalia has brought this mother and daughter team global recognition.

“Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman embody the spirit of the Aurora Prize and our philosophy of Gratitude in Action, and we are delighted with this opportunity to express our deepest admiration and appreciation to them for the amazing work they are doing in Somalia. They give people a second chance, hope for the future, and inspiration to lead a meaningful life. Their courage, self-sacrifice, altruism, idealism, as well as actions on the ground reflect the values of the global Aurora movement,” noted Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York, Co-Founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, and Member of the Selection Committee.Previous Aurora Prize Laureates include Burundian activist Marguerite Barankitse (2016), American physician and missionary Dr. Tom Catena (2017), Rohingya human rights campaigner Kyaw Hla Aung (2018) and Yazidi activist Mirza Dinnayi (2019).

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2014/11/12/friedrich-ebert-award-goes-to-fartuun-adan-from-somalia/

https://armenpress.am/eng/news/1027947.html

Somali rights defender Hawa Abdi died

August 6, 2020

Somali human rights activist and philanthropist Dr. Hawa Abdi. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM
On 5 august 2020 David Ochieng Mbewa reported in AfricaCGTN the death of Somali rights activist Dr. Hawa Abdi, popularly known as Mama Hawa, at the age of 73.

The Ministry of Women HRD would like to send heartfelt condolences to the family & loved ones of Dr. Hawa Abdi. She was a fierce advocate for the rights of Somali women & children & dedicated her life to providing them with free healthcare. Her legacy will live on through the lives she changed,” the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development tweeted.

Abdi was famous for providing refuge for thousands of refugees using her own money and funds from donors in Somalia after founding the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation, previously known as the Rural Health Development Organization. Abdi had studied medicine in Ukraine becoming one of Somalia’s first female gynecologists. She also went on to pursue law studies and worked for government hospitals in Somalia.

In 1983, she opened a one-room clinic, on her family’s ancestral property, which over the years grew into a settlement which hosts tens of thousands of people, mainly women and children. The settlement in the Afgooye corridor, less than 15 miles from Mogadishu, includes a hospital, a school and a refugee camp.

She famously stood her ground when Islamist militants laid siege to the settlement in 2010 and attempted to force her to shut it down. The militants ended up withdrawing from the compound following intense pressure from locals and rights groups and even apologised for the incident.

In 2010, she was named one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year along with her daughters, Amina and Deqo. In 2012 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and also won the BET’s Social Humanitarian Award.

Somali rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Hawa Abdi dies

https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalias-doctor-to-the-poor-and-human-rights-activist-dies-at-73

One million $ for Waris Dirie and her fight against FGM

February 17, 2019

Some prizes come with serious money such as the 2019 Sunhak Peace Prize. On 9 February, 2019 PRNewswire reported that Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, co-founder of the Korean Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) awarded one million dollars (USD) to this year’s Sunhak Peace Prize laureates, Waris Dirie and Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, as part of her philanthropic work. The biennial award honors individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the peace and welfare of future generations. The award ceremony took place on 9 February 2019 in Seoul, South Korea.

Waris Dirie, model and human rights activist, brought the violence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on the world stage by raising FGM as an international human rights issue and assisting in passing a UN resolution banning its practice. The Sunhak Committee acknowledged Waris Dirie’s achievements in advocating for the rights of millions of women and girls in Africa.

Thank you for your recognition. Thank you for everything that comes with it, this beautiful peace prize. It’s all I dreamed [of] as a child. All I wanted was peace and to receive this, this is a great gift to me…You giving me a peace prize, it’s because I believe in peace,” stated Ms. Dirie during the press conference.

As a victim of FGM herself, having been circumcised at the tender age of five in Somalia, she quit a successful career as a supermodel and dedicated the past 25 years to making FGM a recognized worldwide human rights crisis. She served as UN Special Ambassador for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation from 1997 to 2003.

Her advocacy focuses on education as the fundamental key to eradicating FGM and empowering women and girls to have the knowledge they need to protect themselves. She emphasizes the fact that until women have equal respect, there cannot be lasting peace. In 2002, she founded the Desert Flower Foundation, an organization aimed at raising awareness of the dangers surrounding FGM. The Foundation raises money for schools and clinics in her native Somalia and supports the Zeitz Foundation, an organization focused on sustainable development and conservation. She also runs FGM reconstruction surgery centers in Europe. In January 2009, she started the PPR Foundation for Women’s Dignity and Rights, an organization founded along with French businessman François-Henri Pinault and his wife, Hollywood actress Salma Hayek.

http://www.familyfed.org/

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/2019-sunhak-peace-prize-awarded-to-waris-dirie-300792771.html

In Somaliland lawyer has to choose: practicing law or human rights!

May 19, 2016

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - croppedreports that on 16 May 2016, human rights defender Mr Guleid Ahmed Jama received notification from the Somaliland Minister of Justice and Judicial Affairs that his licence to practice law had been terminated. Guleid Ahmed Jama [for profile see: https://frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/guleid-ahmad-jama] is a lawyer and founder of the Human Rights Center, a human rights watchdog organisation in Somaliland.

He only learned about this when he saw on 16 May a letter (dated 10 April!) which was circulated to members of the Somaliland judiciary from the Minister of Justice and Judicial Affairs, Minister Ahmed Farah Adarre, requesting that the judiciary cease to allow Guleid Ahmed Jama to practice law, as his position as chairperson of the HRC and his work as a lawyer are incompatible. [The termination of the licence by the Minister of Justice is unprecedented as the duty of licensing permissions falls within the mandate of the Advocates Licensing and Disciplining Commission.]

Earlier harassment against him occurred in April 2015 when he was arrested, charged and detained in Hargeisa while working in his capacity as a lawyer at Hargeisa Regional Court. He was accused of ‘subversive or anti-national propaganda’, ‘instigation to disobey the laws’, ‘intimidation of the public’ and ‘publication or circulation of false, exaggerated and tendentious news capable of disturbing public order’. According to the Office of the Attorney General, the human rights defender had allegedly committed these offences through his work at the HRC. This case was later closed. <https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/case-history-guleid-ahmed-jama>

Seems to me to be a good case for (international) lawyers organizations.

See also: https://www.defenddefenders.org/2016/05/somaliland-minister-justice-revokes-license-human-rights-lawyer/

 

 

Human Rights Defenders Conference in Mogadishu

January 27, 2015

It may not be the most important news, but the simple fact that a Conference on Human Rights Defenders in Somalia is being held in Mogadishu at all is not what one expects. A delegation of the African Human Rights Commission led by Reine Alapini Gansou arrived in Mogadishu, Somalia on Monday for the one-day conference.

The conference is a wider and nationwide consultative meeting that will be focusing improving protection capacity and promoting the right to defend human rights in Somalia and to achieving a safe working environment for Somali HRD’s, especially most-at-risk HRDs including the journalists and the civil society members.Hassan Shire, the chairperson of the Pan African Human Rights Defenders Network said in a press briefing at his hotel.

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Delegation From African Human Rights Commission Arrive in Mogadishu for HRDS Conference.

Horn of Africa specialist Martin Hill passes away: great loss to human rights community

January 13, 2015

Martin Hill, for 32 years a senior researcher at AI on the Horn of Africa, has died. He wrote “No redress: Somalia’s forgotten minorities” for the Minority Rights Group and was a founding member of East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network in 2005 in Uganda. Hassan Shire Sheikh, who knew him well personally, published the In Memoriam below:
dr-Hill(Martin Hill on the left, his wife Dawn and the author Hassan Shire Sheikh)

We have lost a figure-father, mentor, a dear friend, and an admired advocate who consistently shed light on human wrongs in the Horn of Africa and sided with those whose rights were violated. Dr. Martin Hill passed away on Friday 9 January 2015. Dr. Hill worked at the Amnesty Secretariat office in London, as a researcher and a campaigner on the Horn of Africa in the human rights field for over 32 years. I first met Dr. Hill in 1989 when he led the first Amnesty International delegation to Somalia during the period of military dictatorship. At sub-regional level where many human rights violations and suffering for the past three decades and lack of attention globally, Dr. Hill brought human rights issues and concerns in the limelight and earned the admiration and love of many people particularly Ethiopians, Eritreans and Somalis. Dr. Hill was a friend to me and to my late uncle, Dr. Ismail Jumale Ossoble, (the only human rights lawyer who consistently defended prisoners of conscience in the dreaded national security court). Dr. Ossoble was a prisoner of conscience himself and was Amnesty International’s principle research contact in Somalia during the 80s and 90s. We subsequently established Dr. Ismail Jumale Human Rights Centre in 1996 and I co-directed the centre for 6 years starting in 1996 before I went into exile. During this period, I was the principle Somali contact for Amnesty International and I worked very closely with Dr. Hill. Dr. Hill worked with us on the protection and promotion of human rights for Somalis including a sign up campaign during the 50th UDHR anniversary celebrations where Dr. Ismail Jumale Centre was able to garner over 1.5 million signatures including first signature by the founding first President, the late Aden Abdulle Osman at his farm in Shalambood District of lower Shabale region, former Prime Ministers, faction leaders, and civil society groups among others. I particularly remember the first human rights defenders training for Somalis that Dr. Hill organized in 1997 in Kenya and I was part of that training. He was instrumental in organizing sub-regional networks consultation meetings to the run up of the All Africa Human Rights Defenders Conference I 1998 and subsequently the global human rights summit in Paris in December 1998. He also supported our research initiative during our initial mission, Africa Human Rights Defenders Project in the East and Horn of Africa while I was at York University. Dr. Hill was present as founding member of East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network in 2005 in Entebbe, Uganda. Dr. Hill will be remembered for his ardent support to human rights in the Horn of Africa. He inspired and mentored so many human rights activists who are now working with prominent human rights organizations around the world. He contributed to the fight against human rights violations and ending the culture of impunity in the sub-region. Our thoughts, and those of the wider human rights community, are with his family and many friends around the world. The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project staff, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network and the Pan Africa Human Rights Defenders Network, extend our sincerest condolences to his wife, Dawn Hill and children.”

Great Loss to the Human Rights Community as Legendary Dr. Martin Hill Passes On | Mareeg Media.

Somali Journalists mark Human Rights Day with call for more protection including executions

December 10, 2014

Somali News on 7 December reports on a meeting of the National Union of Somali Journalists ahead of the International Human Rights Day 2014 to highlight the violations against the Human Rights Defenders, especially the attacks against the press in Somalia including harassment, intimidation, unlawful or arbitrary arrest and detention. That thinking about the death penalty differs greatly in the world is shown by the satisfaction expressed about the death penalty meted out to the killer of a journalist.

Read the rest of this entry »

Friedrich-Ebert Award goes to Fartuun Adan from Somalia

November 12, 2014

(Fartuun Adan, Director of the Elman Peace and Human Rights Center, Mogadishu/Somalia. Photo: Fartuun Adan)

The Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation’s human rights award 2014 recognizes Fartuun Adan’s long-standing and persistent commitment to the human rights of women in the complex political context of a society shaped by decades of civil war in Somalia. Bestowing the human rights award on the director of the Elman Peace and Human Rights Center also acknowledges that women are no mere victims of violence and discrimination, but socio-political actors, who actively contribute to peace and reconciliation.

[Fartuun Adan is the director of the Elman Peace and Human Rights Center. She founded the organization in 1991 with her husband Elman Ali Ahmed, who was murdered five years later and after whom the center is named today. After his death, Fartuun Adan immigrated to Canada with her daughters. In spite of ongoing conflicts, she returned to Mogadishu in 2007 to continue her work for peace and reconciliation. The Elman Peace and Human Rights Center advocates for women’s and children’s rights under difficult political circumstances. It was the first non-governmental organization providing survivors of gender-based violence and vulnerable women with legal and psychological support, health care and shelter. Furthermore, it advocates for long-term reconciliation and development, and cooperates with OXFAM, ILO and others to support the social reintegration of former child soldiers.]

The award ceremony will take place on 4 December, 2014, 15:00 h, at Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Hiroshimastr. 28, 10785 Berlin. The laudation will be held by Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid.

For more information on the Ebert award, see: http://www.brandsaviors.com/thedigest/award/friedrich-ebert-foundation-human-rights-award.

Human Rights Award of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

Honoring some of the many women human rights defenders on International Women’s Day

March 9, 2014

Yesterday, 7 March 2014, saw many expressions of solidarity with women human rights defenders at the occasion of International Women’s Day.

The ISHR picked the following cases as examples that stand out:

You can find many more cases via the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition [http://www.defendingwomen-defendingrights.org/] which brings together women activists and those committed to the advancement of women human rights and those working on gender issues, to advocate for better protection of women human rights defenders.

via Honouring women human rights defenders on International Women’s Day! | ISHR.

Somali Human Rights Defender Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim receives Oxfam Novib/PEN Award For Freedom Of Expression

February 24, 2014

Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, a participant in the Protective Fellowship Scheme for Human Rights Defenders At Risk at the Centre for Applied Human Rights at York University, was jailed in his native Somalia in 2013 after he interviewed a woman who claimed she was raped by government security forces. On 21 February 2014 he was honored as the recipient of the Oxfam Novib/PEN Award For Freedom Of Expression which recognises writers who have been persecuted for their work and continue to write

via Persecuted journalist in spotlight at University of York From York Press.

http://www.pen-international.org/oxfam-novibpen-award-for-freedom-of-expression/