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Somalia

    April 28, 2017

    The authorities in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region must immediately halt plans to execute two boys sentenced to death by a military tribunal in February for their alleged role in the armed group Al-Shabaab’s killing of three senior administration officials, said Amnesty International.

    The organization has learnt that Muhamed Yasin Abdi, 17, and Daud Saied Sahal, 15, could be put to death at any moment after five other boys -– all aged between 14 and 17 – were executed on 8 April for the killings.

    “These five boys were executed following a fundamentally flawed process during which they were tortured to confess, denied access to a lawyer and additional protections accorded to juveniles, and tried in a military tribunal. The lives of the remaining two boys must be spared” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    March 12, 2015

    More than two decades of conflict, inadequate health services and discrimination have left people with disabilities in Somalia at risk of forced marriage, violence, rape and repeated forced evictions, said Amnesty International in a new briefing published today.

    The briefing, Somalia: Prioritise Protection for People with disabilities, reveals how lack of protection, underpinned by discrimination by families, the public and the state, renders people with disabilities vulnerable to further attack and exploitation.

    Amnesty International is calling on the Somali Federal Government to act decisively to ensure the rights of people with disabilities are protected in law and in practice.

    “People with disabilities face greater abuse in Somalia, are often seen as a burden or as easier targets to attackers. Somalia must do more to protect their rights, rather than allow them to be subject to further abuses because of their disabilities,” said Gemma Davies, Amnesty International’s Somalia Researcher.  

    January 20, 2015

    Somalia’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is a major leap forward for the welfare of children and future generations in the country said Amnesty International as it became the 195th state party to ratify the treaty.

    “Children are the future of any society and their welfare must be a priority for any government. Somalia has shown commitment to protect its children by ratifying the treaty and encourages the government to take concrete practical steps to achieve this,” said Gemma Davies, Somalia Researcher for Amnesty International.

    Somalia’s president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud today put pen to paper ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child in a school in Mogadishu. Amnesty International looks forward to Somalia depositing  ratification with the United Nations in New York to set the ball rolling to complete the ratification process.  

    Only two states, USA and South Sudan, now remain in furthering their commitment to the protection of children through ratifying the Convention.

    March 03, 2014

    Posted at 0001 GMT 4 March 2014

    The UN Security Council’s relaxing of the international arms embargo on Somalia last year appears to have contributed to a rise in insecurity and human rights abuses that has resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths each month, Amnesty International said as it called for a robust embargo to be restored.

    In March 2013, the 21-year-old arms embargo on Somalia was partially lifted by the UN Security Council for one year, allowing the Somali government to import small arms and light weapons but not larger weapons and munitions. The Security Council is due to review this embargo by 6 March 2014 and the government has requested the embargo to be lifted.

    “The facts speak for themselves – security for Somalia’s people remains extremely volatile, and the ongoing flow of arms into the country is fanning the flames of armed violence and grave human rights abuses against civilians,” said Michelle Kagari, Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

    May 15, 2013

    Forcibly returning people to a volatile security situation in Somalia would violate international law, Amnesty International said as Danish courts are due to consider returning five Somali citizens currently living in Denmark.

    The Danish hearings on Thursday and Friday come after at least two other European states – Norway and the Netherlands – have already ended suspensions on forcibly returning people to the Somali capital Mogadishu.

    The Dutch and Norwegian decisions – in December 2012 and February 2013, respectively – cited improved security in the capital as the reason for the change. But the European Court of Human Rights and Dutch courts have suspended the deportation of four Somali nationals from the Netherlands since then, while the security situation remains poor in Mogadishu, and extremely dire in other parts of Somalia.    

    “Though there have been improvements in the security situation in Mogadishu, it remains fragile and volatile,” said Sarah Jackson, Deputy Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International.

    March 04, 2013

    It is premature for the UN Security Council to consider lifting an arms embargo on Somalia later this week, Amnesty International said as it warned such a move could see armed groups such as al-Shabab getting its hands on even more weapons, while removing existing mechanisms of transparency and accountability.

    Despite improvements in security in some areas of the country, including in Mogadishu, civilians still face a high risk of being killed or injured during outbreaks of fighting, in air strikes, mortar shelling or through the use of suicide attacks and improvised explosive devices.

    “Without adequate safeguards, arms transfers may expose Somali civilians to even greater risk and worsen the humanitarian situation,” said Gemma Davies, Amnesty International’s Somalia researcher.

    “For several years, the arms embargo on Somalia has been continuously violated with arms supplied to armed groups on all sides of the conflict. The flow of arms to Somalia has fuelled serious human rights abuses committed during the conflict.”

    January 23, 2013

    Police Response to Sexual Violence Chills Media Freedom; Allegations of Rape Not Adequately Investigated

    Somali authorities should immediately release a journalist and three others linked to the case of a woman who reported being raped by state security forces, Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and Human Rights Watch said today. The detainees have now been held for more than a week – one for 12 days – without charge.

    “Somalia’s new government is saying the right things about the rule of law and a free press, but locking up journalists and others who report rape sends the opposite message,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The authorities should release the four detainees, and ensure that the police investigate sexual violence effectively.”

    On January 10, 2013, the Central Investigation Department (CID) of the Somali police in Mogadishu arrested a woman who said she had been raped by government forces a few months earlier. They also detained two acquaintances who had put the woman in contact with journalists.

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