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Reference : V-P-SO-E-01041
Date : 11/03/2024
Country/Region : SOMALIA
Caption : Mogadishu, central prison. An ICRC delegate and an interpreter visit detainees to assess their conditions of detention and note their complaints.
Photographer : MOHAMED, Abdikarim
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : "Nairobi (ICRC)—The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is expanding its visits to detention places across Somalia in response to the escalation of the armed conflict. Fighting across the country intensified in the past year and is expected to pick up after a lull caused by El Nino rains at the end of 2023. Under its international mandate, the ICRC monitors the treatment and conditions of people detained in relation to security offences.
""We witness an intensification of the conflict in Somalia, and we expect the detention population will also increase. As a result, our teams have increased their visits to detainees to ensure they are treated humanely and live in dignified conditions," says Samer Jarjouhi, who oversees ICRC programs in Somalia.
"In the past two years, the organization has been expanding the number of visits and the number of detention facilities where it works in Somalia. In 2023, it visited 15 facilities compared to 10 in 2022. As a result, the number of detainees ICRC delegates interviewed increased by almost 20%, from 3,770 to 4,495. The number is expected to grow again this year in line with the organization's commitment to ensuring the protection of people detained in relation to armed conflict and violence.
"One crucial aspect of the ICRC's work is helping detainees communicate with their families. Its delegates help exchange short messages containing family news between detainees and their close family members.
"During its visits, the ICRC assesses detainees' treatment and living conditions, including access to necessities like food, water, fresh air, and healthcare. The organization works with prison authorities to ensure that detention conditions correspond to international norms and that detainees are treated with dignity. It also provides material support to detention facilities to improve medical care and hygiene. Last year, the ICRC delivered hygiene items to 15 places of detention and provided two stoves and seven chimneys for the kitchen it constructed for Mogadishu Central Prison.
""We have worked with the ICRC for many years and have a good working relationship. The ICRC supports the prison with hygiene items and medicine," says Dahir Abdulle, Prison Director for Mogadishu Central Prison.
"The ICRC visits detainees in over 90 countries and territories around the world. In Somalia, it started visiting detention facilities in 1977 during the Ogaden War. It is currently providing Ramadan food assistance to almost 4,500 detainees."

Source: ICRC multimedia newsroom, article 26/03/2024.
Original material : digital
Resolution : 6000x4002
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour