Somalia denies trial of civilians in military courts

Published: October 10, 2015

Somalia denies trial of civilians in military courtsA Somali military official has dismissed allegations by the European Union that the government uses its military tribunal to prosecutes civilians.
According to a statement from the European Union, at least 29 people have been executed so far this year across Somalia by state authorities.
‘’The majority of these executions took place through the military court system. We strongly urge the Somali authorities to avoid the use of military courts in civilian cases and to ensure that due process is fully adhered to, including that proper systems of appeal are in place.’’
Liban Ali Yarow, Somalia’s military court chief said that the tribunal is used to punish members of al-Shabaab militant group which wants to overthrow the government.
‘’We have never received nor carried out cases related to civilian matters. The court only prosecutes al-Shabaab terrorists whom we recognise as soldiers,’’ he said in an interview with the BBC Somali Service.
According to credible sources, the court has also prosecuted civilians who have been accused of minor cases and later on went to face harsh punishments.
EU being in line with Amnesty International is opposed to the use of capital punishment in all cases and under all circumstances and has consistently called for its universal abolition.
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