13 February 2022 :
Save the Children on 11 February 2022 called on Somali authorities to intervene after six teenage boys were sentenced by a military court for involvement with armed groups, with four receiving the death penalty.
The teenagers were arrested in October 2020 in Galkayo, in the Mudug region of Puntland state in Somalia, for alleged involvement with armed groups. Four of the boys were 15 at the time of the arrest.
A military court sitting in Galkayo, Somalia, on 31 January handed down the death penalty for four of the teenagers, aged 16 – 18, while the two others, aged 16, were sentenced to 30 and 20 years imprisonment, respectively.
The sentencing violates the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Somalia ratified in 2015, and which codifies Somalia's commitments to protecting a child's rights to life, survival, and accords them appropriate legal protection.
Save the Children’s Country Director for Somalia, Mohamud Mohamed Hassan said:
"We are deeply concerned at these sentences. Sentencing adolescents to death and long-term imprisonment – regardless of their crime – does not work as a deterrent, and certainly isn’t in line with global standards to which Somalia has accepted. These boys deserve a chance at rehabilitation, and we urge the government to ensure justice.
"We urge the government of Puntland to strengthen enforcement and implementation of the Puntland Juvenile Justice Act, to protect and treat all children under the age of 18 in line with child rights standards.