Somaliland: Chained and Locked-up


People with Disabilities Abused, Neglected-HRW Report

HRW Africa Researcher Laetitia Bader presents her report at Mansoor hotel in Hargeisa somaliland

By: Yusuf M Hasan

Somaliland sun – People with mental health conditions in Somaliland are increasingly forced into institutions, where they face serious abuses and poor conditions Human Rights Watch said in a report released in Hargeisa today

In its report recommends that the Somaliland authorities should provide oversight for all mental health facilities, prohibit chaining, and establish voluntary community-based services for people with mental health conditions.

The 81 page report titled “‘Chained like Prisoners ‘: Abuses against People with Psychosocial Disabilities in Somaliland,” finds that men with perceived or actual psychosocial disabilities face abusive restraints, beatings, involuntary treatment, and overcrowding in private and public health centers.

Responding to a Query by Somalilandsun on the issue of mentally ill patients not giving consent for treatment owing to their condition much highlighted by HRW the body’s Africa Research Laetitia Bader who compiled the report said

A pztient sleeps with his feet chained together at the Raywan prvate centre in Hargeisa/HRW photo“Unless in very severe cases medical norms entail a patient receiving proper information on illness diagnosis and subsequent medication” adding that the this anomaly is as a result of lack of skilled personnel in Somaliland where only two psychiatrists are available to a population of more than 3 million.

HRW also takes issue with the mushrooming private institutions catering for the mentally disabled which charge exorbitant amount thus urging regulation to ensure proper medical conduct especially as pertain to treatment of patients who are usually beaten by Guards noted Ms Bade.

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watch a video and Read the full Human rights Watch report titled “‘Chained like Prisoners ‘: Abuses against People with Psychosocial Disabilities in Somaliland,”