Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Military courts in Somalia

The Department of State's Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2019 says of Somalia:
Military courts continued to try cases not legally within their jurisdiction and in proceedings that fell short of international standards. Federal and regional authorities sometimes executed those sentenced to death within days of the court’s verdict, particularly in cases where defendants directly confessed their membership in al-Shabaab before the courts or in televised videos. In other cases the courts offered defendants up to 30 days to appeal death penalty judgements. National figures on executions were unreliable, but the UN Mission to Somalia (UNSOM) tracked 15 executions across the country between January and October 2018. Human rights organizations questioned the military courts’ ability to enforce appropriate safeguards with regard to due process, the right to seek pardon, or commutation of sentence as well as to implement sentences in a manner that meets international standards. In December 2018 Somalia National Army (SNA) members executed by firing squad six men suspected of affiliation with al-Shabaab in Bardera, Gedo Region. The men had been in prison for five months but had not yet been charged.

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