ITUC Condemns the Assassination Attempt on FESTU General Secretary’s Life

Omar Faruk, General Secretary of FESTU (Somalia), escaped an assassination attempt on 29 December 2015 in Mogadishu.

The FESU General Secretary was entering the union’s office when three armed men sprayed his car with bullets on Taleex Street. It is only by good fortune that Omar Faruk escaped death, but one of his bodyguards and two pedestrians were seriously wounded.

The ITUC, representing 180 million workers in the world, strongly condemns this murder attempt against the leader of its affiliate FESTU. It is well known that Omar Faruk has been threatened many times by some radical groups and other members of the Somalian government because of his commitment to build a strong and independent union in his country. This assassination attempt can also be linked to Omar Faruk’ s recent position denouncing a controversial media law passed by the Somalia parliament which is described as a threat to media freedom in the country.

The ITUC urges the Somalia government to stop intimidating the FESTU leadership and take all the appropriate measures to prevent and protect any harassment or attack against Omar Faruk and other human rights defenders in Somalia. The ITUC also asks the Somalia government to carry out a genuine investigation in order to identify the assailants and their sponsors and bring them to justice.

The ITUC expresses its full solidarity with Omar Faruk and FESTU members in these difficult circumstances and will not hesitate to submit the case to international institutions if improvement is not noted.