Djibouti is a republic with a strong elected president and a weak legislature. In April 2016 President Ismail Omar Guelleh was re-elected for a fourth term. International observers from the African Union, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and Arab League characterized the election as “peaceful,” “calm,” and “sufficiently free and transparent” but they noted irregularities. Most opposition groups did not characterize the elections as free and fair. Opposition parties participated in 2013 legislative elections for the first time in 10 years; perceived flaws in the vote fueled months of protest and an opposition boycott of the National Assembly that lasted until the signing of a framework agreement with the government in 2014. International observers from the African Union, IGAD, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the Arab League characterized the 2013 elections as free and fair, an assessment disputed both domestically and by some other international observers.

Civilian authorities maintained effective control over security forces.

The most significant human rights issues included use of excessive force, including torture; harsh prison conditions; arbitrary arrests and prolonged pretrial detention; denial of fair public trials; interference with privacy rights; harassing, abusing, and detaining government critics; restrictions on freedoms of speech, assembly, association, and religion; government abridgement of the ability of citizens to choose or influence significantly their government; government corruption; violence against women and children with inadequate government action for prosecution and accountability; female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C); trafficking in persons; and restrictions on worker rights, and child labor.

Impunity was a problem. The government seldom took steps to prosecute or punish officials who committed abuses, whether in the security services or elsewhere in the government.

To read the full report in English click at: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2017&dlid=276993
Click here to read the full report in French