Human Rights Watch: Somalis Raped, Beaten, Held Hostage at Refugee Camps

Militias and security forces often affiliated with the government responsible


Tens of thousands of Somalis hit by famine and conflict since 2011 trekked to the capital Mogadishu looking for food, shelter and medical help. But many who sought refuge in camps there have been raped, beaten, deprived of aid and effectively held hostage by the gatekeepers who control the chaotic settlements, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.

In a report based on more than a year's research, including 70 interviews with uprooted Somalis, the rights group said the most serious abuses had been committed by militias and security forces, often affiliated with the government. These armed groups often have links with camp managers, known as "gatekeepers", who are generally from the dominant local clan.