Killing of Somali-Canadian human rights crusader Almaas Elman underlines need for civilian protection – Amnesty

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Updated: March 8, 2021

Amnesty International said on Thursday the killing of prominent Somali-Canadian human rights activist Almaas Elman shows the risk faced by activists in the country and underlines the need for the authorities to ensure the safety of civilians.

Almaas was hit by a bullet on 20 November while she was traveling in a car inside the Halane compound in the capital Mogadishu. She died later in hospital as the result of the injuries she sustained. The circumstances of her killing remain unclear.

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“We send our deepest condolences to Almaas’ family and the entire human rights community in Somalia who continue to fight injustice and push for respect for human rights despite the risks,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

“While the authorities have launched an investigation into Almaas’ killing, they must ensure that it is impartial, thorough, and effective, and that anyone suspected to be responsible is brought to justice in a fair trial. The authorities must also make the findings of the investigation public as soon as it is concluded.”

Amesty said Almaas was a prominent and dedicated activist who worked on social justice, women’s rights and the rehabilitation of children affected by conflict in Somalia.

She was also associated with the Elman Peace Centre, an organization working to promote peace in Somalia. Her sister, Ilwad Elman, was nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for her work promoting peace in Somalia.

Her father, Elman Ali Ahmed, also peace activist, was assassinated for his work in Mogadishu in 1996.

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