Somaliland private mental health centres are accused of abuse

Friday December 16, 2016 - 16:11:18
Photographs: Human Rights Watch
Unregulated and unmonitored mental health centres in Somaliland are accused of abusing residents.

Hargeisa- The situation of the mental health centres in Somaliland is shocking, according to activists. Speaking in condition of anonymity, a civil society member who was able to visit a private mental health centre told Somaliland Daily that the people are beaten, abused and ill-treated.

"People with mental health conditions in Somaliland are increasingly forced into institutions, where they face serious abuses and poor conditions,” says Human Rights Watch 2015 report

The Human Rights Watch Report, title Chained and Locked Up in Somaliland, says "men with perceived or actual psychosocial disabilities face abusive restraints, beatings, involuntary treatment, and overcrowding in private and public health centers. Most are held against their will and have no possibility of challenging their detention. In private centers in particular, those with psychosocial disabilities face punitive and prolonged chaining, confinement, seclusion, and severe restrictions on their movement”. 

"These centers are largely unregulated and unmonitored by the government,” says the report.

"Some patients are forgotten and never released,” former resident of mental health centre told Human Rights Watch.

"Since Human Rights Watch report was published the managers of these centres intensified their control and bar any outside access. The people with psychosocial disabilities are held there without supervision and oversight. Even the government institutions such as the Ministry of Health are unable to visit there,” says a civil society member.