Chained like prisoners - Abuses Against People with Psychosocial Disabilities in Somaliland

Edited by Human Right Watch in 2015

Based on research in the towns of Hargeisa, Berbera and Gabiley, this report examines the abuses against people with actual or perceived mental health conditions or psychosocial disabilities in public and private institutions.

Between October 2014 and July 2015 Human Rights Watch visited two public mental health wards, six privately-run residential centers and one facility that uses traditional and religious practice to treat and purportedly heal inpatients. Human Rights Watch interviewed 115 people, including 47 people with actual or perceived psychosocial disabilities currently or formerly within institutions, and found that most residents experience abuses. These include arbitrary detention, chaining, verbal and physical abuse, involuntary medication, overcrowding and poor conditions. Basic due process, judicial oversight and channels of redress are nonexistent. Although women with psychosocial disabilities also suffer serious abuses in healing centers and in their communities, this reports focuses largely on men, because most of the centers hold men.

Laetitia Bader, researcher for the Africa division, authored this report based on research conducted with Leslie Lefkow, deputy director for Africa, and a psychologist who volunteered with Human Rights Watch, Giovanni Pintaldi.

Chained like prisoners - Abuses Against People with Psychosocial Disabilities in Somaliland

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