Trump’s air force attacks Iraq, Syria, Somalia

This 11 April 2017 video from the USA says about itself:

Does President Trump stand to personally profit off the wars he is escalating in Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Somalia and beyond? That’s the question many are asking, after it emerged that Trump has personally invested in Raytheon, the military contractor who makes the Tomahawk missiles used in the U.S. strike on a Syrian airbase last week. Raytheon’s stocks briefly surged after the attack. Overall, the stocks of defense contractors, such as Boeing and General Dynamics, have increased since Trump’s election, further fueled by his promise of a “historic” 10 percent increase in U.S. military spending. For more, we speak with William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy. His latest book is “Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.”

Eg, Dutch daily Trouw reports today that on 29 December 2019, United States F-15 warplanes attacked Iraq, Syria and Somalia.

The attacks in Iraq and Syria were against Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iraqi Shiite militia which had fought against ISIS; and was accused by the United States Trump administration of recently killing a United States mercenary contractor at a United States military base in Iraq. The 29 December attacks on Syria and Iraq killed at least 25 people and injured 55. Trump’s Secretary of War ‘Defence’ Esper said that he did not exclude that there would be more attacks.

Besides the three attacks in Iraq and two in Syria, Donald Trump’s Pentagon yesterday bombed Somalia, killing at least four people.

Trump’s war on Somalia, video

Thi 21 March 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Is the U.S. at war in Somalia?

“We asked AFRICOM and the Office of Secretary of Defense if the U.S. is at war in Somalia“, says Brian Castner, senior crisis adviser on arms and military operations for Amnesty International. “They have told us they’re using the laws of war. … So if you’re using the manual of war, the laws of war, does that mean you’re at war in Somalia? And they wouldn’t answer.”

Donald Trump’s war in Somalia

This 5 March 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Inside the Secretive U.S. Air War in Somalia: How Many Civilians Have Died as Strikes Escalate?

The Trump administration is rapidly escalating a secretive air war in Somalia. According to the think tank New America, at least 252 people have been killed in around two dozen U.S. airstrikes in Somalia so far this year. The U.S. has already carried out more strikes in Somalia in 2019 than in any single year under President Obama.

In addition to the air war, the Pentagon reportedly has about 500 U.S. troops on the ground in Somalia, including many special operations forces. For years, the U.S. has attempted to aid the Somali government by targeting members of al-Shabab, but the effort has increased dramatically under Trump, and it has come with little congressional oversight or media attention.

We speak with Amanda Sperber, a freelance journalist who reports from Nairobi, Kenya, and Mogadishu, Somalia. Her new article for The Nation is titled “Inside the Secretive US Air Campaign in Somalia.”

This 5 March 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

U.S. airstrikes in Somalia have tripled under Trump

The U.S. airstrike campaign in Somalia is killing civilians, despite the military’s claim otherwise, and journalist Amanda Sperber wrote for The Nation just how deadly the campaign has been.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019: US accused of war crimes in Somalia. Amnesty International accuses Washington of failing to adequately investigate allegations of civilian casualties during the drone and aircraft attacks: here.

New aloe species discovery in Somaliland

This 14 February 2019 video is called Aloe sanginalis, a new red Aloe from Somaliland.

From ScienceDaily:

Aloe sanguinalis, a new red Aloe from Somaliland

February 14, 2019

Aloe sanguinalis, or Somali Red Aloe, forms large, conspicuous clumps and has blood red sap. Its can easily be spotted from the road, but the species has only just been named and described in the open access journal PhytoKeys.

It remains a mystery how this beautiful and showy aloe species has remained undescribed by science for so long, but one of the theory is that the plant was ‘hiding in plain sight”‘ in an area not usually known for its hight biological diversity.

The locals in the area have long known that the plants were different from other kinds of “Dacar”, (the Somali name for Aloes) in the region and were referring to them as “Dacar cas” or “Red aloe.”

Similarly, the scientific name for the new species — Aloe sanguinalis — is based on one of its most distinct characters, its bright red color, coming from the peculiar blood-red sap the plant produces. The leaves also become reddish as they mature.

The story of the formal recognition of “Dacar cas” or Aloe sanguinalis, however, began when Ahmed Awale, a leading Somaliland environmentalist, spotted the large, reddish clumps plants, while driving through the country on behalf of Candlelight, an NGO focused on the environment, education, and health.

Later on, when the plant came to the attention of Mary Barkworth, a botanist interested in building botanical capacity in Somaliland. After listening to Ahmed, the two of them began looking formally into the possibility that “Dacar cas” was, indeed, an undescribed species. They were soon convinced it was. After the initial excitement, the next step required demonstrating that “Dacar Cas” differs from all the other 600+ known species of Aloe. That step took longer, but finally it has been done.

“This news comes from a region which had experienced periods of conflict and instability, climate change effects and accelerated environmental degradation, whereby much of the people’s attention has been focused on promoting livelihoods and resilience. With this positive piece of information we hope that we inspire scientists to further explore the area,” explains Dr Barkworth.

The new species is currently known from only two locations, but it is hoped that naming and sharing pictures of it online will encourage discovery and documentation of additional locations.

Air strike on Somali children, hospital

This 2015 music video is called Little Girl from Somalia.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

School and hospital hit by an air strike in Somalia

AT LEAST three children were killed in Somalia today when their school was hit by an air strike in the south of the country.

Their school in the town of Sakow was bombed, along with the main hospital which is said to have been destroyed. …

The area is subjected to regular bombing raids by the US and Kenya as part of the multinational African Union force.

The air force of Ethiopia attacks Somalia regularly as well.

Somalia is one of the shadow wars that Washington is waging in Africa, with little or no information provided to the public, much less even a shred of popular approval: here.

Outcry after reporter ‘beaten by police’ in Somalia: here.

Pentagon war on Somalia

This video from the USA says about itself:

US Building Bases & Deploying Troops To Somalia

8 May 2018

The U.S. military is dramatically expanding its operations at a former Soviet air strip in Somalia, constructing more than 800 beds at the Baledogle base, VICE News has learned. The construction at the secretive base marks the latest example of America’s growing and controversial shadow war in Africa.

Baledogle’s expansion is one part of what appears to be a massive U.S. military infrastructure development project in the Horn of Africa country that will see at least six new U.S. outposts built this year, according to multiple defense contractors who spoke to VICE News.

Somali poetess jailed for poetry

This 2017 video is about Somali poetess Nacima Qorane reading a poem.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Somaliland: Three-year jail sentence for poet who read unity poem

POET Nacima Qorane has been jailed for three years in Somaliland after being found guilty of contempt for reading a unity poem.

She received the sentence in the self-declared republic after she called for Somaliland and Somalia to be reunited.

Prosecutors said she had referred to Somaliland as “a region” and “insulted and defamed its government” by reading the poem in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. The court found that she had brought the state into contempt.

Home to about 4 million people, the area in the north-west of Somalia was formerly a British protectorate, uniting with the former Italian colony in 1960 to form the Somali Republic. It declared its independence in 1991 following a bitter civil war but is not recognised internationally, being seen as an autonomous region of the country.

In February Somaliland allowed the United Arab Emirates to open a military base to launch strikes against Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the country’s ongoing civil war.

Ms Qorane was arrested in January after returning from the Somali capital and rights groups have raised concerns over her treatment.

A number of artists and reporters have been sentenced for similar offences as Somaliland’s government cracks down on opposition voices and press freedom.

Journalists Mohamed Abdilaahi Dabshid and Ahmed Dirie Liltire were sentenced to two years in prison in January for reporting that Ethiopian militants were training in Somaliland. Others have received jail terms for spreading so-called false news.

Somaliland’s Human Rights Centre called for the immediate release of Ms Qorane yesterday and said it was “very concerned” about her conviction.

Guleid Ahmed Jama said: “Freedom of expression is enshrined and protected by the constitution of Somaliland. We urge the government of Somaliland to respect its own constitution.”

Trump deports Somali war refugees in torture flight

This video says about itself:

U.S. Special Ops Reportedly Massacred Somali Civilians

30 November 2017

On Aug. 25, American forces accompanied by Somali National Army led a deadly raid in Bariire city that reportedly killed 10 innocent locals.

By Maryam Saleh in the USA:

Excessive force

For a brief moment in December 2017, the international spotlight shined on the case of 92 deportees who were on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement-chartered flight to Somalia. Most such flights unload their human cargo once they land, but this flight, for logistical reasons, returned home — and brought witnesses back with it.

The Somalis told of abuse on the flight, saying they were shackled with chains on their wrists, waists, and legs for more than 40 hours; forced to urinate in bottles or on themselves; and that ICE officers beat and threatened some passengers. (ICE has denied that it mistreated detainees on the flight.)

But even after the spotlight dimmed, the abuse continued. The Somalis are still being held at the Krome Detention Center and the Glades County Detention Center in Florida, as their lawyers try to fight their deportations. At Glades, where half the group is being held, they have complained of a litany of abuses, including violent assaults by guards, denial of medical care, lack of access to their lawyers, and racism.

“The guards and the administration up there at Glades, they think they’re immune. To me, it’s so brazen to be doing this. They know there’s a federal case. They know we’re up there all the time. They know there are investigators up there”, said Lisa Lehner, an attorney at Americans for Immigrant Justice, one of the groups representing the Somalis. “They called them ‘niggers’. They called them ‘boy’. They’ve said things like, ‘We’re sending you boys back to the jungle’.” An ICE spokesperson in Miami declined to answer questions about the complaints coming from Glades, citing pending litigation.

The treatment of the 92 Somalis, both on board the ICE-chartered plane and at the Glades detention center, is not a case of a few operators gone rogue and exposes the very limited avenues for accountability available to those who are abused in ICE custody, as well as the particular vulnerability of those who experience aggression on their way out of the United States.

Rebecca Merton, a program coordinator at Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement, or CIVIC, said that there is a logic to the mayhem: The abusive conditions eventually wear down the will of detainees to stay and fight their deportation orders in court. “One way that ICE, and particularly [Enforcement and Removal Operations, an ICE sub-office], achieves its goal of mass deportation is by subjecting people to indefinite detention in terrible conditions without any source of hope, or sometimes, outside contact”, said Merton.

Two weeks after the failed deportation flight, the 92 Somalis sued ICE for “inhumane conditions and egregious abuse” on the flight and asked the court to halt their deportations.

“As the plane sat on the runway, the 92 detainees remained bound, their handcuffs secured to their waists, and their feet shackled together,” the complaint — filed by a team of lawyers from the Immigration Clinic at the University of Miami Law School, Americans for Immigrant Justice, the James H. Binger Center for New Americans at the University of Minnesota Law School, and Legal Aid Service of Broward County — reads.

“When the plane’s toilets overfilled with human waste, some of the detainees were left to urinate into bottles or on themselves. ICE agents wrapped some who protested, or just stood up to ask a question, in full-body restraints. ICE agents kicked, struck, or dragged detainees down the aisle of the plane, and subjected some to verbal abuse and threats.”

ICE Air Operations is a division of the agency responsible for deportation flights. “ICE Air Operations personnel follow best practices when it comes to the security, safety and welfare of the aliens returned to their countries of origin”, its website reads. “There are a variety of [Enforcement and Removal Operations] personnel on board who ensure the health and safety of the aliens and officers during removal flights.”

But that’s not what happened on December 7, when the plane stopped in Senegal to refuel, then sat on a runway there for 23 hours before being re-routed to Miami. ICE explained the delay in a statement it issued in December. “The relief crew was unable to get sufficient crew rest due to issues with their hotel in Dakar”, so the aircraft remained parked so that the crew could rest. “The allegations of ICE mistreatment onboard the Somali flight are categorically false. No one was injured during the flight, and there were no incidents or altercations that would have caused any injuries on the flight.”

Lehner said some of her clients reported that officers on board the airplane apologized to the immigrants when they realized the flight would be returning to the United States. It was not clear whether those who apologized were ICE officers or private contractors, she said.

A number of major media outlets, including the New York Times, reported on the failed deportation flight; the news was later picked up by Somali media. The Somalis argued in the lawsuit that, if they were to be returned to Somalia, they would be “killed or harmed due to changed circumstances in Somalia created by the media coverage and notoriety of the aborted and abusive December 7 flight.” (A team of pro bono lawyers is helping the Somalis try to reopen their past immigration cases in pursuit of immigration relief. An immigration court has agreed to reopen at least one of their cases so far.)

Though ICE had been planning to take another shot at deporting the 92 people — most of them men, many of them longtime residents of the United States who fled horrors in Somalia and have U.S. citizen family members — in December, a judge at the Miami federal court halted their deportations at least until January 2. That order has since been extended, as the court continues to weigh preliminary issues related to the lawsuit.

The lawyers also filed an administrative complaint with the DHS Inspector General and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties offices — one of few options available to victims of excessive force seeking accountability. In addition to laying out what happened on the deportation flight, the complaint includes recommendations for amendments to ICE’s shackling policy. Fatma Marouf, a professor at the Texas A&M University Law School, wrote in the complaint that medical studies indicate that “the extreme form of shackling used on the 92 deportees could cause significant psychological harm.”

In the weeks that followed, the Somalis being held at Glades have complained of physical abuse by guards at the county jail that doubles as an immigration detention center. The conditions at the jail — pepper spray as a form of punishment and lack of access to medical care, to name a few — are the subject of a separate administrative complaint, court filings, and a letter to a congressional representative and state senator.

Khadar Ibrahim, who fled Somalia nearly three decades ago after his father was murdered and his aunt was raped in a brutal civil war, said he was roughed up both on the flight and at Glades. At one point on the deportation flight, Ibrahim stood up to use the bathroom, and an ICE officer picked him up from his waist and threw him to the ground headfirst, according to court documents. He experienced neck pain for weeks after.

Then, at Glades, he watched a fight unfold between two detainees over access to a phone on Christmas Day. He watched from his dormitory as guards beat up another detainee who tried to break up the fight, and when a guard used pepper spray against one of the men involved in the fight, other detainees in the dorm inhaled some of it too, according to an administrative complaint. The next day, after two other eyewitnesses asked to speak to a captain about what had happened, an officer identified as “Sergeant Mims” in the complaint escorted Ibrahim and two other men to segregation cells. (ICE declined to comment on the complaint.)

“On the way to segregation and while handcuffed, Sergeant Mims tackled me from behind,” Ibrahim wrote in a sworn statement. “I fell forward and hit my head on the floor and it made my neck hurt very badly. We went to medical, and I told the nurse my neck hurt. Sergeant Mims told her it was nothing and she did not examine me. She did not ask me any questions, check my blood pressure, or take my temperature. She only spoke to Sergeant Mims.”

“Glades staff have used pepper spray, segregation, shackling and physical abuse on our clients in a discriminatory display of excessive force,” the administrative complaint — filed with two Department of Homeland Security offices — reads. “They have used racial slurs to berate them, including the words ‘nigger’ and ‘boy.’ They have interfered with our clients’ right to make a grievance by threatening them and placing them in segregation when they express their intention to file a grievance.”

ICE has long come under fire for conditions at its detention facilities across the country. Krome, the Miami detention center where half of the Somali group is being held, was haunted by reports of beatings and rapes in the 1980s and 1990s, but complaints of abuse largely subsided after the facility was upgraded in the mid-aughts. “Some complaints still occasionally surface — but Krome officials say they are investigated quickly”, the Miami Herald reported in 2015. “It’s very, very different from its former self,” Cheryl Little, executive director of Americans for Immigrant Justice, told the Miami New Times three years ago.

Glades also has its fair share of problems. Lawyers from the Immigration Clinic of the University of Miami Law School, after touring the center in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2016, sent letters to the leadership of Glades and Krome, raising concerns about detention conditions. For example, two years ago, the clinic identified a number of issues, including “abusive and inappropriate officer interactions with detainees; medical attention; [and] attorney access to detainees and lack of attorney-client confidentiality and privacy.”

Other immigration detention centers — many of them operated by private prison corporations — are also plagued by abuses. In December, a Department of Homeland Security watchdog reported that, at four of five detention facilities it inspected, it found conditions “that undermine the protection of detainees’ rights, their humane treatment, and the provision of a safe and healthy environment”. The report, issued by the DHS Office of the Inspector General, said that medical care may have been delayed and that there was a lack of cleanliness at several facilities. “Documentation of daily medical visits and meal records for detainees being held in segregation was also missing or incomplete”, the inspector general found. “Some of these issues may simply be a matter of inadequate documentation, but they could also indicate more serious problems with potential misuse of segregation.”

Immigrant detainees have also reported physical abuse at a number of detention centers. A 2016 report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and the Adelante Alabama Worker Center found inadequate medical care and widespread abuses at six immigration detention centers in the South. “Detained immigrants described being subjected to physical abuse, retaliation and excessive use of segregation and lockdown by detention center staff and ICE officers,” according to the report. “There is also a general lack of protection from violence within the facilities.”

“It’s not a couple of facilities that aren’t meeting ICE standards, or a couple of guards who are racist and abusive,” said Merton. “The entire system is treating people the way the Trump administration wants them to.”

While CIVIC, which believes in abolishing the immigration detention system, condemned abuses in the system long before Donald Trump was elected on a vehemently anti-immigrant agenda, Merton said the last administration was much more responsive to complaints. “If there was enough public pressure, the Obama administration might have done something about individual cases or made policy changes at a particular facility”, Merton explained. “Under the Trump administration, it’s like they really don’t care that their brutality is being put on full display. It seems at times they want the reports to come out to instill fear in immigrant communities.”

Clara Long, who researches immigration policy at Human Rights Watch, told The Intercept that she has received complaints about ICE officers using excessive force when getting people to sign deportation orders, “like pulling people’s arm, pushing them to sign, that kind of coercion.” (The signing of deportation documents usually happens at ICE field offices, not detention centers.)

Another context in which immigrants report excessive force, Long said, is when they’re being loaded onto deportation flights, especially for people who are being forcibly deported. When ICE tried to deport the 92 Somalis in December, it was supposed to be a one-way flight. But after the immigrants unexpectedly were brought back to the United States, they were able to file an administrative complaint. Most deportees don’t have the chance to do even that.

“One problem is making sure that people have the opportunity to make a complaint, so when you’re talking about a system that’s churning out people rapidly”, Long said, “if someone is not coming back and is experiencing some sort of an excessive use of force while being while on a deportation flight, there’s a huge barrier to be able to make a complaint.”

In 2009, the Obama administration announced a long-term plan to overhaul the immigration detention system. Under the reforms, ICE moved away from its decentralized network of jails to a system of federal oversight. One significant change was the creation of the Office of Detention Policy and Planning, which was meant to “plan and design a civil detention system tailored to ICE’s needs.”

“In 2009, the administration identified a series of reforms that it wanted to be implemented immediately, and then over time we identified additional areas where improvement was necessary”, said Kevin Landy, who was the assistant director of the office, which had a staff of five, from 2010 to 2017.

Under the Trump administration, the office has ceased to function as an independent unit within ICE. Instead, its staff and work have been “absorbed into existing detention management components and will continue as a part of ICE’s daily operations”, ICE spokesperson Sarah Rodriguez said. What once was a standalone office that reported to the ICE director is now effectively a part of Enforcement and Removal Operations, the wing of ICE that carries out deportations and is responsible for detaining and transporting immigrants in ICE custody. Many of the office’s key policy changes, such as the policy directing the use of segregation, remain in effect, Rodriguez noted.

One of the biggest steps the office took under the Obama administration was the promulgation of what are known as the 2011 Performance-Based National Detention Standards, or PBNDS, a revision of the 2008 PBNDS and the 2000 National Detention Standards, or NDS. Generally speaking, the PBNDS are in force at “dedicated” facilities — centers that house only ICE detainees, while the NDS continue to apply at shared-use county jails, like Glades.

A 2016 report from the National Immigration Justice Center found that the “patchwork application of three different sets of detention standards results in confusion about which standards are applicable during inspections, and uneven protections for detained immigrants.”

The detention standards contain guidance on everything from food in detention centers to visitation to religious practices to use of force by detention facility staff. They include standards both for detainee discipline and grievances, and give detainees the option of filing complaints internally or with an ICE field office. Detainees can also file civil lawsuits or complain directly to the DHS Inspector General and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties offices, and, in theory, to law enforcement. The ICE Office of Professional Responsibility is another body that oversees detention centers and ensures that detention standards are abided by.

How well that is ensured is an open question. “It’s problematic when an agency is tasked with investigating the abuses that occur under its own supervision”, said Merton, noting that an April 2017 complaint CIVIC filed with the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Liberties has gone unacknowledged. “ICE audits tend to be perfunctory at best. It’s just checking off a list without listening to what people in these facilities are saying.”

On the evening of February 9, some of the toilets in the isolation cells at Glades were clogged and spewing sewage on the floor, making them impossible to use. The Somali men in segregation complained, and one of them, Agane Warsame, asked for a mop to clean his cell. In response, officers “sprayed pepper spray through the slots of their cells, making them unable to breathe,” according to court records. “The officers called the men ‘niggers’ and told them to ‘go back to the jungle’. Glades officers inflicted beatings on Agane Warsame” and possibly one other man, according to court records. ICE [denied] this account in court records, and said the “claims of excessive force are meritless.”

The filth caused by the overflowing toilets, unbearable for anyone, poses a special problem for the Somali men, most of whom are Muslim, noted Lehner, the attorney from Americans for Immigrant Justice. “This also raises the issue of the facility’s lack of respect for the Somalis’ religious faith. They are unable to pray when their cells are filthy”, she said, also noting that the facility has refused to provide the inmates with religious-compliant meals. (One Jewish Somali man told his lawyers that he had repeatedly asked for kosher meals and was subsequently placed in isolation, Lehner said.)

Asked to comment on the detainees’ claims, Nestor Yglesias, an ICE spokesperson in Miami, sent a link to the detention standards and wrote, “This link addresses how ICE operates every center”. In court filings, ICE said Warsame was being disruptive by yelling and kicking on the door of his cell while asking for a mop, spurring other detainees to exhibit “disorderly behavior”. Warsame was taken out of his cell “to limit his disruptive participation in the ongoing disturbance within the segregation unit, and he was pepper sprayed outside of his cell, after he became “actively aggressive” and cursed and spit at a guard, according to ICE.

Warsame’s lawyers, after hearing about the altercation, rushed to Glades to investigate. They found him “so injured he cannot walk” and in a wheelchair, with a possibly broken hip, according to court records. An incident report from the detention center included details about the malfunctioning toilets and the pepper spray, but omitted mention of “the documented physical abuse of Mr. Warsame officers”, his attorneys wrote in an emergency motion to the court.

Following the incident, Warsame’s lawyers asked the court to order a transfer of the Somali detainees out of Glades. “We were really scared for people’s lives”, Lehner, who filed the motion, said. That effort was unsuccessful.

Under the 2000 National Detention Standards, ICE officer are “under no circumstances” allowed to use force to punish a detainee and can only use the amount of force necessary “to gain control of the detainee”. Under those standards, medical personnel must examine a detainee after any use of force and immediately treat injuries. Officers can use nonlethal weapons, such as pepper spray, if a detainee is armed or barricaded, cannot be approached without endangering himself or others, or if a delay in using force to control the situation would seriously endanger the detainee or others.

“The use of pepper spray also has to be discussed in advance with medical staff, unless that’s not possible”, said Landy. “In my opinion, pepper spray should only be used against a detainee already confined in a segregated cell only in very rare circumstances.”

At least eight detainees had previously said they experienced abuse at Glades, according to an 88-page complaint the lawyers who are representing the Somalis in their federal lawsuit filed on January 8. The detainees had been subjected to physical abuse, excessive force followed by denial of medical attention, and inadequate medical care, according to the complaint. The Miami-based lawyers, who make the 100-mile trek to Glades as needed, including when their clients report threats to their safety, have been keeping a meticulous log of injuries sustained in detention and the type of medical care that followed.

Warsame said that after he had asked about another detainee who “guards had touched for no reason”, he was found guilty of “inciting a demonstration” and punished with 30 days in a segregation unit. On January 3, Warsame was allowed to take a shower. When a guard took him back to his cell, Warsame stuck his wrist out of a slot in the door so that the guard would remove his handcuffs. “A guard twisted Warsame’s hand so that the handcuff cut into the skin on his wrist, leaving it bleeding and swollen,” according to the complaint. “The next day, a nurse looked at him, but refused to treat the cuts on his wrist.”

Every detainee admitted to an immigration detention center is given a copy of ICE’s detainee handbook, a 28-page document with information on topics such as meals, dress code, and visitation. Also included, about halfway through the handbook, is information about filing grievances. It tells detainees what their options at the detention facility are — verbal or written complaints, emergency grievances, and appeals — as well as how to contact outside offices, such as that of the inspector general. The Office of Professional Responsibility’s 2017 review of detention facilities found “a higher instance of situations in which local facility handbooks and postings were missing mandatory information,” including regarding grievance procedures.

The guidance on filing grievances mirrors the policies laid out in the agency’s detention standards. Under the 2000 NDS, a detainee must be allowed “to submit a formal, written grievance to the facility’s grievance committee. The detainee may take this step because he/she is not satisfied with the outcome of the informal process, or because he/she decides to forgo the informal procedures.”

“Some facilities have a policy where they encourage verbal over written grievances”, said Merton, referring to a policy in the NDS that says facilities should try to resolve grievances at the lowest level before escalating to a formal complaint. “They basically prevent a paper trail by telling folks to just tell a deputy about it. Because there’s no oversight, these people are in a really vulnerable position where their grievances are not being recorded, and they may not have any contact with the outside world.”

At Glades, several Somali detainees said their right to file grievances has been impeded. Glades employees “have interfered with our clients’ right to make a grievance by threatening them and placing them in segregation when they express their intention to file a grievance”, according to the administrative complaint.

Warsame said when he asked to file a formal grievance, “the sergeant refused, cursing at him, and saying ‘You Somalis are demanding things. … This is how we do things in Glade County’”. according to the complaint, which ICE declined to comment on. Afterward, he was sent to a segregation unit.

“It would be highly inappropriate” for facility staff to retaliate against a detainee for filing a grievance, Landy said. If ICE were to investigate the Somalis’ complaints and find them to be credible, he added, there are, in theory, a few routes the agency could take. “They could ask a detention facility to discipline or fire the staff responsible. Depending on the contract provisions in effect at the facility, ICE could seek to impose monetary sanctions and more likely, they could address it informally through communications with the facility and a request for implementation of remedial measures.”

The Office of the Inspector General is investigating conditions at Glades, following the complaint from the Somalis, Lehner said. Investigators have made several trips to the facility, most recently on March 1, when they interviewed three of the detainees with complaints, she said. The office did not respond to a request for comment

Some of the detainees have reported guards saying things to them like, “The reason we’re taking it out on you is that it’s the lawyers fault, it’s the Miami lawyers’ fault”, Lehner said. She reported this to Juan Acosta, the assistant field office director for the ICE Miami Field Office, who told her immediately that it could not be true. (Yglesias, the ICE spokesperson in Miami, declined to comment on this account.)

“The thing that’s so appalling about that is that every single time we meet with them, they tell us how horrible it is,” Lehner added, “and we tell them, ‘Whatever you do, don’t act out, because if you do, they’ll take it out on you and they’ll take it out on us.’”

As the investigative process goes on, the Somalis remain in detention, hoping for one more opportunity to fight their deportations before an immigration judge. If they are unsuccessful in getting their immigration cases reopened — or if they’re ultimately met with denials — they will be sent back to Somalia, another long journey in ICE custody, with an even less certain ending on the ground.

Britain: IN APRIL last year 15 activists took part in a protest to prevent a charter flight organised by the Home Office from deporting 57 people to Nigeria and Ghana. The anti-deportation activists, members of the group End Deportations, were subsequently arrested and today stand trial charged with terrorism offences: here.

Record pace of drone strikes mark sharp escalation of US war in Somalia: here.

Approximately 80 immigrant men from Kenya, Somalia and Sudan held at the West Texas Detention Center in Sierra Blanca, Texas have been subjected to horrific physical abuses, alleged hate crimes, and sexual abuse, according to a report recently cited by the Intercept: here.

On Monday, the Trump administration announced it will be setting the cap on the number of refugees allowed into United States in the fiscal year 2019 at 30,000. This marks a record low for the 43-year old refugee resettlement program, following the earlier historic low in 2018 of just 45,000 refugees, already less than half of the cap of 115,000 in 2017. As of now, with less than two weeks to go before the end of the fiscal year, the United States is on track to admit less than 21,000 refugees: here.

England: The death of Shukri Yahya Abdi, a 12-year-old Somali refugee, has provoked outrage among family and friends in Bury, Greater Manchester. A protest outside Broad Oak Sports College, where Shukri was a pupil, was held after Shukri’s funeral on July 5. Hundreds attended the protest led by her school friends, some holding placards saying, “Shukri’s Life Matters,” demanding justice and urging people not to forget her name. Many chanted, “We want Justice! Justice for Shukri!”: here.

Turkish occupiers to Somalia

This video says about itself:

Somalia. the Forgotten Story | Somalia, a rich catch for mega powers

2 November 2016

Somalia had a vital geographic location after the opening of Suez canal. This in turn evoked the mega powers of west and north to take action.

Somalia is an important country for international oil business.

This attracts all sorts of foreign soldiers, causing one bloodbath of Somali civilians after another one. British soldiers; United States soldiers; Ethiopian soldiers; Kenyan soldiers; Ugandan soldiers; Blackwater mercenaries; German mercenaries; etc.

Now, the autocratic ruler of Turkey, Erdogan, has decided that Turkish Big Business should get part of the Somali spoils.

Dutch NOS TV reports today that the Turkish government has opened its biggest military base in Africa in Somalia. Cost: 42 million euros. Two hundred Turkish soldiers; part of whose task is training Somali puppet soldiers.

Turkish exports to Somalia have risen from 4.3 million euros in 2010 to 104 million in 206.

‘People were screaming’: troops destroy $200,000 aid camps in Somalia. More than 4,000 people are homeless two weeks after security forces demolished camps sheltering internally displaced Somalis: here.

THOUSANDS of people have been displaced after heavy rains flooded central Somalia, with the United Nations warning that half a million people are affected: here.

Trump’s Africom killing Somali civilians

This 26 August 2017 video about Somalia says, translated from Indonesian:

26 August 2017

Somali forces backed by the United States shot dead 10 residents, including three children in a village. Barire village was attacked … The Somali military says no civilians were killed in the attack.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

10 civilians killed in raid by Somali army and US forces

Monday 28th August 2017

SOMALIA’S army chief of staff admitted on Saturday that 10 civilians were killed in a joint raid with US forces the previous day.

Ahmed Jimale Gedi said he was shocked by the massacre in the village of Barire in the Lower Shabelle region.

The US Africa Command (Africom) confirmed that it had supported an operation by the Somali army in the area.

The Somali Information Ministry had earlier claimed that eight al-Shabab terrorists had been killed in the operation on Friday morning and “no civilians were harmed or killed.”

A second statement late that night said: “It appears that there were different security operations.”

Villagers brought the bodies of the dead to the capital Mogadishu in a protest later on Friday. Lower Shabelle deputy governor Ali Nur Mohamed told reporters there the residents had been killed “one by one” by “foreign troops”.

He said: “These local farmers were attacked by foreign troops while looking after their crops.

“The troops could have arrested them because they were unarmed but instead shot them one by one mercilessly.”

Mr Mohamed said three children, aged eight to 10, and a women were among the dead.

Africom said: “We are aware of the civilian casualty allegations near Barire, Somalia.”

Trump plans to make it easier to kill civilians with drones. Sadly, we can thank Obama for that: here.

US forces carried out three separate drone strikes across Somalia within less than 24 hours last weekend, underscoring the sharp escalation of Washington’s military offensive in the Horn of Africa: here.

AFRICOM envisions two years of open-ended warfare in Somalia: here.

Somali citizens count cost of surge in US airstrikes under Trump: here.

A US airstrike Saturday killed at least 52 people in Somalia, according to the Pentagon. As with all such attacks, the US military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) claimed that all of the victims were members of the al-Shabab Islamist militia: here.