MOGADISHU: Somali Disability Empowerment Network (SODEN) Is Concerned With Threats Against its founder Mohamed Ali Farah. These threats were coming from unknown numbers including phone calls and text messages and were often targeting the organization in general but Mohamed himself in particular. He was told several times to stop the work he was doing otherwise will face murdering.
Mohamed is a prominent disability and human rights activist who has been promoting the rights of citizens with special needs. His advocacy has resulted to coordinate with higher officials of the federal government of Somalia including the president. As a results of his engagements with governments institutions, UN and other international NGOs, Mohamed has been receiving calls and since then has limited his movement within the city. Mohamed’s colleague who was also disabled man was shot dead in Dhargeynley district Banaadir region by unknown armed men after he co-organized number of advocacy meetings conferences and press releases while talking about disability rights issues.
Somalia is one of the most dangerous places for human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and civil society activists. The terrorist group Alshabab has sentenced all those who either working with government or foreigners to death. According the group, these people are considered to be working on western-driven agenda and therefore should be killed on sight.
Even thought is not the first time that Mr. Farah is facing this Threats but 2009 and 2010 Mohamed also met such this threat after the insurgents groups forced evicted his home and told him if he don’t want to die you have to leave and this district they were controlled that time 2009.
Similar threats and attacks have been directed at human rights defenders (HRDs) in Somalia. Like journalists, HRDs are a vulnerable group living in a hostile human rights environment. Several activists have been threatened, attacked and killed for the work they have done on issues such as corruption, impunity, sexual and gender based violence and abuses by armed groups. Al-Shabaab has been responsible for the kidnapping, torture and murder of several civil society figures and has launched targeted attacks against international aid organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Similar attacks have also been instigated by al-Shabaab against human rights lawyers and other legal officials working on bringing about much needed judicial reforms.