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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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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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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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Secretary-General’s ‘List of Shame’ Should Reflect Report Findings

(New York) – The United Nations secretary-general’s new report on children and armed conflict sets a damaging precedent by ignoring or downplaying some countries’ abuses in his annual “list of shame,” Human Rights Watch said today.…
School in Nikishine, eastern Ukraine, damaged during fighting between Ukrainian government and rebel forces from Aug. 2014 to Feb. 2015.
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African Governments Should Ensure Right to Education

  (Nairobi) - Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of the Day of the African Child…
Students enrolled in the final year of lower secondary school in the classroom in a village in Kolda region, southern Senegal. Adolescent mothers and married girls study in this school.
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Repeal Provisions that Criminalize Free Speech

(Nairobi) – A string of recent prosecutions in Somaliland targeting people who spoke out on controversial issues is a dangerous attack of free expression, Human Rights Watch said today. In the latest such case, a prominent traditional…
Naima Ahmed Ibrahim, a popular poet, was sentenced to three years in prison for promoting unity of Somaliland with Somalia. She was released on May 7, 2018, following a presidential pardon after spending more than three months in detention. © Private
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Emphasize Rehabilitation, Develop Child-Specific Procedures

(Washington) – Somali authorities are unlawfully detaining and at times prosecuting in military courts children with alleged ties to the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. …
A prison warden at a prison in Garowe, Puntland state, in northeastern Somalia, December 2016.
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Government Pledge to Investigate Forced Evictions a Positive Step

(Nairobi) – Somali security forces using bulldozers have demolished dozens of informal settlements in Mogadishu since late December 2017, leaving thousands homeless. Human Rights Watch analyzed satellite imagery that shows that between…
Map Showing demolished IDP settlements in Mogadishu
News

Residents Threatened to Hand Over Boys, Girls

(Nairobi) – The Islamist armed group Al-Shabab has threatened and abducted civilians in Somalia’s Bay region to force communities to hand over their children for indoctrination and military training in recent months. …
Children learning to read the Quran at the Gaabow Islamic school in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, August 2013. Parents and teachers told Human Rights Watch that Al-Shabab militants threatened and on occasion abducted teachers and children from schools in
News

Finds Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Discriminatory

(Amsterdam, December 6, 2017) – The Austrian Constitutional Court’s ruling on December 4, 2017, that a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional is a powerful victory for equal marriage rights, Human Rights Watch said today…
Austria's Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof) in Vienna, Austria.
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Raids Marked by Abductions, Arson and Looting Cause Mass Flight

(Nairobi) – The Islamist armed group Al-Shabab burned numerous homes in raids on villages in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region in late May 2017, Human Rights Watch said today based on witness accounts and satellite imagery analysis. Al-…
Somali families rest as they flee from drought-stricken Lower Shabelle region before entering makeshift camps in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, joining the thousands already displaced, March 17, 2017. Al-Shabab forces attacked villages in Lower Shabelle re
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Help At-Risk Civilians, Improve Oversight of Security Forces

(Nairobi) – Somalia’s new government should ensure that the security forces are accountable and improve protection of the most vulnerable people, Human Rights Watch said today in a 10-point report on human rights priorities. The London…
Prisoners at Mogadishu Central Prison watch as a guard walks pass their cell in December 2013. Most of the military court’s hearings in Mogadishu take place inside the prison, which limits access to hearings for relatives and independent monitors.
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Failed Investigations into Abuses as War Turns 2

(Beirut) – An apparent Saudi-led coalition attack on a boat carrying Somali civilians off the coast of Yemen highlights the need for accountability on the second anniversary of the Yemeni armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Body of a Somali refugee, killed in an attack by a helicopter while travelling in a vessel off the coast of Yemen, is carried at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen, March 17, 2017.
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Make Concrete Commitments During Summit

(Nairobi) – Kenya should protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. In line with a recent High Court decision, the…
Photo of Somali refugees getting on buses to leave Dadaab refugee camp.
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UN Security Council, Donors Should Prioritize Justice in Somalia

(Nairobi) – African Union forces in Somalia (AMISOM) should release the findings of their investigation into alleged unlawful killings of 14 civilians by Ethiopian forces in July 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. More than six months after the incident…
A relative mourning the deaths of 14 civilians, including religious leaders, elders, and koranic school teachers, killed in a small village in the Bay region of southwest Somalia. © 2016 Private
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Prioritize Accountability, Redress for Victims

(Nairobi) – Clampdowns by governments in East Africa on peaceful protests and free expression severely threatened human rights in the region in 2016, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2017. Government…
Armed security officials watch as protesters stage a protest against government during the Irreechaa cultural festival in Bishoftu, Ethiopia on October 02, 2016.
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Latest Move Shows Government’s Disregard for Victims

(Nairobi) – Burundi has taken a major step backward by officially withdrawing from the International Criminal Court, Human Rights Watch said today. Other African ICC members should distance themselves from Burundi’s withdrawal and affirm their support for…
Residents outside their houses in Nyakabiga, in the Burundian capital Bujumbura, look at the body of a man shot dead on December 11, 2015.
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Opportunity to Press for Equal Rights, Rule of Law

(Washington, DC) - United States Secretary of State John Kerry should underscore respect for human rights and civilian protection during his upcoming trip to Kenya, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the…
US Secretary of State John Kerry gestures as he speaks at a news conference at the Nairobi Sankara Hotel on May 4, 2015, in Nairobi, Kenya.
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Ensure Required Protections for Refugees

(Nairobi) – Kenya’s announcement on May 6, 2016 that it would no longer host refugees is contrary to principles it has pledged to respect. Dr. Eng Karanja Kibicho, interior ministry principal secretary, announced that the government would no longer…
Somali women and children fleeing their homes in Nairobi’s predominantly Somali suburb of Eastleigh on November 20, 2012, two days after an attack on a bus by unknown perpetrators caused Kenyan gangs to riot and attack Somali refugees and Somali Kenyans.