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Save the Children: Sentencing adolescents does not work as a deterrent

Garowe (SD) – An International youths advocate is concerned about six young men who were recently convicted by a Puntland military court to execution and a long detention sentences.

Puntland Court convicted the accused teens of killings in Galkayo, Mudug region and for being members of Al-Shabaab.

“We are deeply concerned at these sentences. Sentencing adolescents to death and long-term imprisonment – regardless of their crime – does not work as a deterrent, and certainly isn’t in line with global standards to which Somalia has accepted. These boys deserve a chance at rehabilitation, and we urge the government to ensure justice.”

Adding “We urge the government of Puntland to strengthen enforcement and implementation of the Puntland Juvenile Justice Act, to protect and treat all children under the age of 18 in line with child rights standards.”

The court insisted these young men were between 16 and 20 years old when they were arrested in October 2020.
Four of these young men were sentenced to death, while two others got 20 and 30 years prison sentences.

“Across Somalia, children must be protected from recruitment and use by armed groups. The experience of being associated with an armed force or group can have an immediate and lasting impact and consequences for boys and girls, including exploitation and abuse, physical injury or disability. They must be protected, not punished.” said Save the Children.

Al-Shabaab, the federal and regional forces have all been accused of recruiting children to fight for them.

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