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Government Mandates Reporting HIV Status, Deports People Living with HIV

In Jordan, medical professionals and health facilities are mandated to report an individual’s HIV status to the government. Foreign nationals found to be HIV-positive are summarily deported regardless of the consequences to their health and safety and…
Silhouettes are cast on a Jordanian national flag in Amman, Jordan, November 30, 2016. 
News

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. 
News

Legal Amendment May Threaten Livelihoods and Living Standards

Like many governments around the world, Jordan has been forced to take urgent economic measures amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In April, it used emergency decrees to alter labor and social security laws, and on May 31, it further loosened labor…
 People shop for vegetables at the main market in Karak, Jordan, after a curfew was lifted for some southern cities, amid concerns about the coronavirus Wednesday, April 22, 2020.
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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
News

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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News

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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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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News

Eastern Caribbean LGBT Activists Seek Protection, Not Marriage

After Human Rights Watch released a report on discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and buggery laws in the Eastern Caribbean, a government minister from Barbados warned against “an attempt to transpose and to…
An unknown man on the Eastern Caribbean island of Barbados.
News

Eastern Caribbean People Should Know Rihanna Has Spoken Out for LGBT People

“Why are we homophobic in Barbados and other countries in the Eastern Caribbean?” a popular host of a morning television show in Barbados asked me. I was on the island – and his show – to talk about a new Human Rights Watch report about…
Rihanna Drive, Barbados.
News

Access to Information Crucial for Free, Fair Vote

On November 13, the self-declared autonomous state of Somaliland will be holding presidential elections, the third since declaring independence from Somalia in 1991. The incumbent is stepping down and the elections are pitting the…
People work in a printing studio as they prepare materials to mark the break-away of Somaliland from Somalia in Hargeysa, May 16, 2015.
News

At Least 230 Dead, Hundreds Wounded in Mogadishu Attack

The horrific bombing in a crowded and bustling area in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on Saturday is a grim reminder of how deadly the country’s armed conflict remains for ordinary Somalis. A bomb-laden truck exploded at a busy junction…
Civilians walk at the scene of an explosion in KM4 street in the Hodan district of Mogadishu, Somalia October 14, 2017
News

New Policy Will Help Open School Doors

The big picture is bleak for Syrian refugee children, but the Jordanian government recently took a step to ensure these children’s right to an education. Jordanian regulations require Syrian children to have a “service card,” issued by the…
Syrian children attend class in a school in the Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan, October 20, 2015. The school taught Syrian girls in the morning and boys in the afternoon, but lacked electricity, heating, and running water.
News

Key Provisions that Severely Restrict Speech Remain

When Somalia’s new minister of information took office in March, he promised to review the country’s restrictive media law, raising hopes of fostering a better environment for journalists and free expression in the country. …
Journalists queue for a security sweep outside the venue of the presidential vote at the airport in Somalia's capital Mogadishu
News

Time for AU to End Military Use of Schools and Universities

There was a marching band, a choir, dignitaries, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. On Tuesday, some 300 Burundian soldiers serving in the African Union peace support force in Somalia (AMISOM), finally abandoned their military…
Screenshot from a video showing the ceremony as Burundian soldiers from AMISOM leave their military base on the Somalia National University campus in Dharkenley district, west of Mogadishu.
News

Country’s New Leadership Should Ensure Credible Investigation

On Sunday morning, Abdihamid Mohamed Osman, a technician and editor at Universal TV network, was driving to work in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, when a bomb planted in his car exploded. Abdihamid was taken to the hospital, where he is receiving treatment…
The blood stained camera of a photojournalist is seen after a secondary explosion in front of Dayah hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, January 25, 2017.
News

Kenya’s High Court Overturns Government Bid to Send Somali Refugees Back Home

Early this morning, Somali friends in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp that’s home to more than 300,000 people, were celebrating the selection of Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” as the new president of Somalia. Residents in Dadaab have been waiting…
An aerial view shows makeshift shelters at the Dagahaley camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border in Garissa County, Kenya. Photo taken April 2011.
News

Limiting Extension to Six Months Prolongs Confusion, Suffering

This year, widespread attention has focussed on Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, which the Kenyan government threatened to close by late November. But on Wednesday, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for interior announced that the closure will be delayed…
Photo: Refugees stand outside their tent at the Ifo Extension refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border in Garissa County, Kenya, October 19, 2011.
News

Annual Day Promotes Accountability for Attacks on the Media

For reporters at risk around the world – because they’re exposing corruption, covering conflict, or afflicting the comfortable – today matters: it’s the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. You’d think a group of professional…
Somali photojournalist runs for cover while reporting on fighting between the Somali government and African Union forces against the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia, April 2012.
News

Alarm Grows With 26 Murders So Far This Year

On October 7, a 36-year-old mother of three was reportedly beaten and strangled in her home just east of Jordan’s capital Amman, allegedly at the hands of her ex-husband. The following day, in another case, an 18-year-old man shot and murdered his 20-year…