Somalia: Puntland dismisses criticism by Rights Defender

Human Rights Defender Mohamed Yusuf Ali

GAROWE, Somalia-Puntland Government in northern Somalia On Monday rejected criticism of counterterrorism policy, calling remarks by The Office for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights (OHRD) “hasty”, Garowe Online reports. 

According to an emailed press statement by the Presidency, Puntland itself sets example for the rest of the country in Human Rights protection, while citing its fight against all forms of terrorism.  

On Sunday, top Human Rights Defender Mohamed Yusuf Ali who also heads OHRD criticized the government for disproportionate use of force during anti-terror raids statewide; something government says is a determinacy to ensure the region is safe against religious hoodlums, Al Shabaab.  

Presidential spokesman has also shrugged off human rights accusations by lawmakers in Somalia’s federal parliament, calling allegations “disdainful”. 

On children apprehended in counteroffensives against Al Shabaab, the government said that they will be reintegrated back into normal life. 

Puntland has stepped up search operations throughout the region in pursuit of elements deemed ‘serious threat’ to stability according to intelligence sources. 

Puntland forces neutralized boatloads of Al Shabaab militants, killing scores and taking dozensof fighters prisoner in March.

 In December, 2015, the top lawyer disclosed that they recorded a case of alleged abuse after a 12-year-old boy was injured at a refugee camp in deliberate violation of key Human Rights Act. 

Puntland Human Rights Office whose leader was picked in a parliamentary vote on Nov. 27, 2014 is tasked with offering advices to relevant authorities.


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