• Somalia’s long-running armed conflict continues to leave civilians dead, wounded, and displaced in large numbers, although the Islamist armed group al-Shabaab lost ground in 2012. Both al-Shabaab and the forces arrayed against it—a combination of Somali government security forces, troops with the African Union Mission in Somalia, Ethiopian government forces, and allied militias—committed abuses, including indiscriminate attacks harming civilians and arbitrary arrests and detentions. In areas under its control, al-Shabaab administered arbitrary justice and imposed harsh restrictions on basic rights. Improving security remains a serious challenge for Somalia’s new government, which came to power in August, at the end of the political transition period.

  • Farhia, a Somali woman who is now eight-months pregnant, was deported to Somalia from Saudi Arabia on January 29, 2014 after working for 10 years as a domestic worker. The Saudi authorities have deported at least 12,000 people to Somalia since January 2014 without allowing any to make refugee claims. Mogadishu, Somalia. February 8, 2014.
    Saudi authorities have deported more than 12,000 people to Somalia since January 1, 2014, including hundreds of women and children, without allowing any to make refugee claims. Saudi Arabia should end the summary deportations, which risk violating its international obligations not to return anyone to a place where their life or freedom is threatened or where they face other serious harm.

Featured Content



  • Jul 17, 2014

    The judge who told the Kenya Government a year ago that it couldn’t force urban refugees into remote and over-crowded refugee camps now says it’s fine to do just that. How could that be?

  • Jun 18, 2014
  • Jun 9, 2014
    The London Summit on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict is a landmark opportunity to strengthen global efforts to end rape in war, Human Rights Watch said today. Governments should use the summit, from June 10 to June 13, 2014, to make strong public commitments to end impunity for sexual violence, assist survivors, and prevent further rapes.
  • May 23, 2014
  • May 21, 2014
    Somalia’s military courts since 2011 have tried hundreds of people beyond the courts’ legal mandate or in proceedings that fall short of international fair trial standards, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should urgently transfer civilian cases to the regular courts. International donors assisting in desperately needed improvements in Somalia’s justice system should not neglect reform of the military courts.
  • May 8, 2014


    The Sudanese authorities have deported 30 Eritreans, including at least 6 registered refugees, to Eritrea, said Human Rights Watch. Sudan did not give the UN refugee agency access to the group. Unknown numbers of detained Eritreans recently convicted of immigration offenses in Sudan also risk deportation.

  • Apr 11, 2014

    Kenyan police and other security agencies should stop arbitrary arrests and detentions, extortion, and other abuses against Somalis during security operations,  Human Rights Watch said.

  • Mar 26, 2014
    The Kenyan authorities should reconsider a new plan to forcibly move 50,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers from cities to overcrowded and underserviced refugee camps. News media reported that Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku made the announcement on March 25, 2014, two days after unidentified attackers killed six people in a church near Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa.
  • Mar 18, 2014
    In 2013, Mohamed, a 22-year old Somali, was making a living washing cars in Saudi Arabia. Late that year, due to increasing government pressure on employers of undocumented workers, he was fired. In December, after several weeks without a job, Mohamed handed himself over to the police. He spent the next 57 days detained in appalling conditions.
  • Mar 13, 2014