Like other Canadian organizations, the Thomson Reuters Foundation strongly denounces the human rights abuses at the Hargeisa Investment Center (HIC) in Somalia.
Following a well-documented abuse of refugees from Eritrea and Ethiopia at the HIC, the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police force (RCMP)
in September launched an investigation.
The RCMP joins the United Nations Security Council, the European Union, United States and other international agencies in calling for credible, impartial and transparent accountability for crimes against international law.
The launch of this investigation is a vindication for those who have sought justice for the rapes and other human rights abuses at the HIC and other immigration detention centres around the world. The Canadian government should not hesitate to speak strongly and clearly on the human rights crisis in Ethiopia.
In contrast, the Canadian government has kept quiet about the atrocities against refugees at the HIC in Hargeisa. In fact, the government has done virtually nothing since November 2016, when The Thomson Reuters Foundation published a nine-month investigation into abuses at the HIC.
At the time, the government’s response was simply to highlight the government’s commitment to the refugee resettlement program in Ethiopia and gave out quotes from one Ethiopian refugee. To date, the government’s response to this report, including the RCMP’s investigation, has been either silence or brush-off. This is unacceptable. Canada is a major partner in the fight against the
Islamic State and elsewhere in the Horn of Africa. It should use its influence with Ethiopia and other regional countries to condemn and prosecute these abuses. It should also make clear that Canada will not be complicit in such abuses and adopt rigorous safeguards to ensure that refugees do not end up in similar conditions.