Int'l group says gov't must ensure rights for disabled Somalis who face discrimination, abuses

An international human rights group says decades of conflict and discrimination have left people with disabilities in Somalia vulnerable to forced marriage, violence and rape among other abuses.

Amnesty International on Thursday called on the Somali Federal Government to ensure the rights of people with disabilities are protected in law and in practice.

Gemma Davies, Amnesty International's Somalia Researcher, said people with disabilities face greater abuse in Somalia because they are often seen as a burden or as easier targets to attackers.

Amnesty International says its researchers spoke to dozens of people with physical disabilities who spoke of the abuses inflicted on them including rape and beatings. Women and girls with disabilities said they are forced into marriage to older and sometimes abusive men.