Somalia prosecutes kids for al-Shabaab links

Somalia kids for al-ShabaabFrom SAAD MUSE in Mogadishu, Somalia
MOGADISHU, (CAJ News) – SOMALIAN authorities are accused of illegally detaining and prosecuting children with alleged ties to the Islamist armed group, al-Shabab.

Human rights groups also reported authorities employed an outdated legal system to try children in military courts, primarily as adults, for security crimes including al-Shabaab membership.

Laetitia Bader, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch lamented that children, mostly boys, who suffered under al-Shabab found themselves at risk of mistreatment and hardship in government custody.

“The government’s haphazard and at times outright abusive approach harms children and compounds fear and mistrust of security forces.”

Bader said the administration of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed must treat children as victims of the al-Shabaab terror and ensure that children, regardless of the crimes they might have committed, are accorded the basic protection due to all minors.

Authorities in the East African country have thus been advised to improve supervision of children in detention and prioritise rehabilitation in addressing their cases in the military courts.

Government has pledged to hand over captured children to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

This includes 36 minors government captured from al-Shabaab in January.

Authorities have handed over 250 children to UNICEF for rehabilitation since 2015 but after the children have spent considerable time in detention.

– CAJ News

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Posted by on Feb 23 2018. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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