• 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.

  • Suspected insurgents rounded up during a security sweep in Mogadishu's Wardhigley district in May 2013. Those arrested during security operations have on occasion been tried in mass trials before the military court.
    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.

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Reports

Somalia

  • Sep 8, 2014
    Soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have sexually abused and exploited vulnerable Somali women and girls on their bases in Mogadishu, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Troop-contributing countries, the African Union (AU), and donors to AMISOM should urgently address these abuses and strengthen procedures inside Somalia to seek justice.
  • Aug 25, 2014
    Somalia's military court sentenced three men to death on July 30 for alleged membership in the armed Islamist group Al-Shaabab and involvement in attacks in Mogadishu, the capital. Four days later, the Somali media posted to Twitter photographs of their limp, hooded bodies tied to poles.
  • 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.