25th October 2014- Abdilaahi Sheikh Abdirahmaan Ibrahim, Somaliland citizen, was arrested 11th June 2014 by Somaliland Police force at his work station in money remittance company, Juba Express. Abdilahi, an accountant, was held in Hargeisa days after his arrest. But few days later his family was told that he is no longer in detention of Somaliland government. The family later learnt that he was transferred to Djibouti.
Somaliland authorities admitted through the media the transfer of Abdilahi to Djibouti. The arrest and transfer took place after suicide bombing exploded restaurant in Djibouti in May 2014.
The family never heard about Abdilahi after his arrest. Neither Somaliland government nor Djibouti government provided any information regarding Abdilahi’s situation.
The constitution of Somaliland prohibits handing over citizen of Somaliland to another country as stated in article 35(2) of the constitution.
It is the responsibility of the government of Somaliland to immediately return Abdilahi safely home. “His family is worried. His mother has not been able to talk to her son and no one is talking to her to tell her if he is alive. It is totally unacceptable condition. We urge the international human rights organizations to advocate for Abdilahi who is in great danger”, says Guleid Ahmed Jama, Human Rights Centre chairperson.
Djibouti is one of the most dictatorial regimes in Horn of Africa. President of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, came in power in 1999. He was elected his third time in 2011 after he changed the constitution to stay in power more than the two terms the constitution permitted. The opposition politicians are harassed and arrested. Public protests are not allowed. Independent civil society is not accepted to operate freely. The security forces commit human rights abuses. There are reports of prisoners died in jails and people who disappeared in Djibouti. The judiciary is not independent and there is no fair trial.
Abdilahi from small clan that lacks political strength in Somaliland was targeted because of his clan status. He seemed for the government weak that his transfer could not create domestic political pressure and outcry. But the constitution provides fundamental freedoms and rights to all the citizens of Somaliland irrespective of clan.
Human Rights Center condemns the transfer and holding of Abdilahi in the strongest terms possible.
“The government of Somaliland is responsible of whatever happens to Abdilahi. He should be released immediately and without delay, and his family and human right organizations shall be allowed to visit him” says Guleid, HRC chairperson.
Guleid Ahmed Jama
Human Rights Center
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