Close to 4,000 detainees in Somalia will be enjoying goat meat and dates for iftar as they observe the fast this Ramadan. Almost 1,300 goats and over four and a half tonnes of dates were among items distributed to 12 places of detention across Somalia by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

“We are distributing the foodstuffs to detainees, so they feel part of the joy of Ramadan like people outside do during the fast.” said Mohamed Liban, who is ICRC’s Protection Officer in Baidoa.

“Our work is to ensure detainees are treated humanely. Their rights and dignity maintained.”

Other items distributed were 4,600kg of tea leaves, 4,600kg of powdered milk, 9,500kg of sugar, 4,600kg of spices and 4,600 litres of cooking oil. Below are images of the distribution in one of the detention facilities, Baidoa’s Central Prisons, located in Bay region.

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A herd of goats make their way inside Baidoa Central Prison. The goats were part of Ramadan items distributed to 12 places of detention in Somalia by the ICRC. ©ICRC/Abdikarim Mohamed 

An ICRC staffer checks items delivered to Baidoa Central Prison. The items included dates, lentils, sugar, milk, tea, cooking oil and spices intended for the inmates as they observe the fast during Ramadan. ©ICRC/Abdikarim Mohamed 

A detainee reads the holy Quran in his cell. Detainees in Somalia observing Ramadan are joining in the spirit of the occasion. Our teams donated foodstuffs to detention centres across the country to improve the iftar menu. ©ICRC/Abdikarim Mohamed 

It is prayer time! A detainee takes wudu – ablution process done before prayers by Muslims.  Detainees in Somalia are allowed to practice their religion freely and are allocated time to pray. ©ICRC/Abdikarim Mohamed 

Inmates inside a cell in Baidoa Central prison. The ICRC meets detainees and conducts private interviews with them related to their treatment and living conditions. The ICRC aims to secure humane treatment and conditions of detention for all detainees, regardless of the reasons for their arrest and detention. ©ICRC/Abdikarim Mohamed 

An ICRC staff speaks to detainees about the Ramadan distribution. The ICRC’s visits to places of detention date back to 1977 during the Ogaden war. Last year, 10 places of detention with a total of 3,770 detainees in the country were visited by the ICRC to assess living conditions and treatment. ©ICRC/Abdikarim Mohamed 

Life in captivity can take its toll and maintaining family contact is vital for the wellbeing of prisoners. The ICRC also works with the authorities to ensure families of detainees are informed of their loved ones’ whereabouts and can contact and visit them. In 2022, 159 family news messages were sent to families of detainees by phone. ©ICRC/Abdikarim Mohamed 

Games like dominos and cards are a popular pass time inside places of detention. ©ICRC/Abdikarim Mohamed