|Firing squad execution of suspected militants in Somalia, August 2014.|
The United Nations is "deeply concerned" about summary executions against suspected militants in Somalia, a UN official said, echoing previous concerns by a New-York based rights group which accused Somalia's military court of carrying out rapid executions.
Speaking to the reporters in the Somali capital on Tuesday, Ivan Simonovic, the U.N Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights has urged Somalia's government to give defendant an adequate time to prepare a defense before proceeding to convictions.
"I think we have to act in accordance with the international law." Mr. Simonovic said at the press conference.
He also warned of abuses against militants in the government-run jails, urging the government against convicting and sentencing suspected militants without due process.
"You cannot defeat Al-Shabab only by military operations only, but you should instead address the actual roots and origins of the extremism, which includes poverty, corruption, mismanagement and discrimination against minority people." he said.
The UN's concerns follow previous reports by the Human Rights Watch which called into question the quality of justice in Somalia's military courts.
Under international law, the death penalty is permitted only after a rigorous judicial process - a fair trial in which the defendant has adequate time to prepare a defence and appeal the sentence, among other requirements.
"A central concern was the speed at which death sentences have been carried out." the rights group said in a lengthy report issued this year.
The group has also called for Somali president to impose a moratorium on the death penalty, and that his government to work to ensure that all national courts, civilian and military, respect fair trial standards. "Without serious improvements in the quality of trials, the injustices of the past will continue." the report said. MFA
Source: geeskaafrika.com, November 19, 2015