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Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
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Boost Stalled Investigation into Killing of 8 in Rural Village

(Nairobi) – Authorities in Somalia should intensify their investigation into the abduction and apparent summary execution of seven health workers and a pharmacist in May 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. Six months on, government investigations…
An ambulance transports patients to a  hospital from a camp for the internally displaced people on the outskirts Mogadishu, Somalia, March 2017.
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October 5, 2020 Col. Guled Ahmed Acting Director Criminal Investigation Division Somali Police Force Mogadishu   Re: Preliminary Findings and Questions into Gololey Investigations Dear Colonel, I am writing on behalf of…
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The European Court of Human Rights found on 19 September that Finland violated its positive duty to protect the right to life of nine students and a teacher in a mass shooting at their vocational institute. It is only the second time that the court…
School #1 in Beslan, North Ossetia. 2004.
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Encouraging Signs They Are Set to Take More Leading Role

The Nordic countries proudly express steadfast commitment to human rights as a priority in foreign policy, but have been disappointingly inconsistent in practice. Sweden launched a feminist foreign policy in 2014 – a laudable approach that failed…
An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in Reykjavik, October 27, 2016.
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Government Should Support Independent Media Ahead of Electoral Process

On July 7, Abdiaziz Ahmed Gurbiye, the chief editor and deputy director of the independent Goobjoog Media Group, is expected to appear in court in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. But his case should have never gone this far. On April 14, Abdiaziz…
Somali journalists in Mogadishu, Somalia December 29, 2019. 
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Apparently Unlawful Attacks, No Redress for Civilian Deaths

(Nairobi) – Two United States airstrikes in Somalia in early 2020 killed seven civilians in apparent violation of the laws of war. US forces have not adequately investigated a February 2 strike killing one woman at her home, and a March 10 attack that…
Somali families, displaced after fleeing the Lower Shabelle region amid an uptick in US airstrikes, rest at an internally displaced persons camp near Mogadishu, Somalia, March 12, 2020. © March 12, 2020 REUTERS/Feisal Omar.
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Allow Public Debate on Security, Covid-19 Responses

(Nairobi) – Somali authorities have been stepping up their intimidation of journalists as the country faces a growing number of Covid-19 cases. Since mid-April 2020 alone, authorities arbitrarily detained three journalists, accused two…
Somali journalists in Mogadishu, Somalia December 29, 2019.
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On 31 August 2019, dramatic news emerged that the notorious security minister of Somalia’s Jubaland region had been detained. In the capital Mogadishu, federal authorities had arrested Abdirashid Hassan Abdinur (commonly known as Abdirashid Janan)…
A prison warden at a prison in Garowe, Puntland state, in northeastern Somalia, December 2016.
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  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
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Almaas Elman Dies from Gunfire in Mogadishu

Yesterday, Somalia lost a bright star. Almaas Elman, a committed Somali-Canadian civil society campaigner, died after being struck by gunfire in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, while driving from a meeting in the heavily fortified Halane compound,…
Almaas Elman
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Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
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Security Council Blocks Measure Jeopardizing Aid

Six United Nations Security Council members have blocked a bid by Kenya to impose additional counterterrorism sanctions on the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab in Somalia. While Al-Shabab’s atrocities merit Security Council…
Women who fled drought line up to receive food distributed by local volunteers at a camp for displaced persons in the Daynile neighborhood on the outskirts of the Somalian capital Mogadishu
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US Court Holds Siad Barre Era Commander Liable for Torture

On May 21, a US court ruled in favor of a plaintiff who alleged that Yusuf Abdi Ali, a former commander of Somalia’s Siad Barre government, tortured him in 1987. The court awarded the plaintiff, Farhan Mohamoud Tani Warfaa – a teenager…
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Somali Authorities Should Ensure Justice for Rape, Murder of 12-year-old Girl

Ten days before the world celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8, the brutal rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl in Puntland, Somalia sparked protests across the country and outrage on social media. Aisha Ilyas Adan went missing on…
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Permit Peaceful Expressions of Dissent

(Nairobi, February 19, 2019) – Somaliland authorities should immediately and unconditionally release from arbitrary detention Abdirahman Ibrahim Adan, a poet known as "Abdirahman Abees," Human Rights Watch and Amnesty…
Abdirahman Abees
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Region’s Leaders Should Reverse Repression, Ensure Justice

(Nairobi) – Clear patterns of government repression against peaceful protesters, activists, and journalists emerged across the East and Horn of Africa region during 2018, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019.…
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Authorities Should Conduct Prompt, Credible Investigation

On Tuesday evening, veteran Somali journalist and media rights activist Ismail Sheikh Khalifa was critically wounded when a bomb planted in his car exploded in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. Ismail was leaving the TV studio where he hosts a weekly show,…
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A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “