On Saturday, 12 January 2019, the government of Somaliland arrested poet Abdirahman Abees, a British-Somalilander dual national.
The arrest of the poet is related to a poetry reading performed by the poet on 11th January 2019 in Hargeisa, according to government authorities who spoke to Human Rights Centre (HRC), and family members.
At a poetry reading event convened at Hargeisa, the poet recited poems talking about “police brutality, “arbitrary detentions” and “poor leadership”.
He is now held in the detention facility of the Counterterrorism Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department in Hargeisa.
Abees was arrested from a restaurant in Hargeisa, and no court warrant was shown to him, eyewitnesses told Human Rights Centre (HRC). Reliable sources confirmed to HRC that the police did not have a warrant of arrest issued by a court.
Article 25(2) of the Constitution of Somaliland states that no person can be arrested or detained, except when caught in the act of committing a crime or, on the issue of a reasoned arrest warrant by a competent judge.
According to article 32(1) of Somaliland Constitution, every person has the freedom “to express his opinions orally, visually, artistically or in writing or in any other way.”
“The arrest of the poet is a clear violation of the Constitution of Somaliland. It is a suppression of freedom of expression,” says Guleid Ahmed Jama, the acting Executive Director of Human Rights Centre.
Neither his family nor his legal representatives are allowed to meet him, Saad Yasin Mohamoud and his father told the Human Rights Centre. An attempt made by the Human Rights Centre to meet him was turned down by the authorities.
Article 27(1) of the Constitution says “any person who is deprived of his liberty has a right to meet as soon as possible his legal representative, relatives or any other persons he asks for.”
In another freedom of expression related case, the regional court in Hargeisa summoned the editors of Foore newspaper, Mohamed Mohamoud Yousuf and Abdirashid Abdiwahaab Ibrahim, who are accused of “publication of false news” and “defamation,” to appear before the court on Monday, the court summon says. The summon does not provide details of the allegations.
Foore is a privately-owned newspaper published in Hargeisa.
Human Rights Centre is very concerned about the arrest of the poet and the criminal charges against Foore, and calls on the government to release poet Abdirahman Abees and drop the criminal charges against Foore journalists.
Guleid Ahmed Jama
Acting Executive Director of Human Rights Centre
Xarunta Xuquuqal Insaanka waxay canbaaraysay xadhiga abwaan Cabdiraxmaan Abees
Maalintii sabtida ahayd ee 12 January 2019 waxa dawladda Somaliland ay xidhay abwaan Cabdiraxmaan Abees oo ah muwaadin dhalashada Somaliland iyo Ingiriiska haysta.
Xadhiga abwaanku waxaay la xidhiidha gabayo uu ka tiriyay 11 January maagalada Hargeysa, sida ay Xarunta Xuququqal Insaanka u xaqiijiyeen saraakiil dawladda ah iyo ehelka abwaanku.
Abwaanku wuxuu madal lagu qabtay Hargeysa ka akhriyay laba gabay oo ka hadlay “hab-dhaqan qalafsan oo booliiska ah, “xadhiga aan sharci ahayn” iyo “hogaan xumo.”
Wuxuu hada ku xidhan yahay Xarunta Dembi Baadhista ee Hargeysa, unugga la dagaalanka argagixisada.
Abwaan Abees waxa laga xidhay maqaaxi ku taal Hargeysa iyada oo aan la tusin amar maxkamadeed oo xadhigiisa amraya, dad goob joog ah iyo ilo kale ayaa sidaas u xaqiijiyay Xarunta.
Qodobka 25(2) ee Dastuurka Somaliland wuxuu sheegayaa inaan qofna la xidhi karin hadii aanu markaas dembi faraha kula jirin ama amar garsoore oo sababaysan loo haysan xadhigiisa.
Qodobka 32(1) ee dastuurku wuxuu u damaanad qaaday qof walba xorriyada inuu aragtidiisa dhiibto.
Xadhiga abwaanku waxaay xad gudub ku tahay dastuurka Somaliland, waana cabudhin.
Qoyskiisa iyo qareenadiisa waa loo diiday inay la kulmaan abwaanka, sida uu Xarunta u sheegay abwaanka aabihii iyo qareenkiisa, qareen Sacad Yaasiin Maxamuud. Isku day ay doontay Xaruntu inay kula kulanto abwaanka waa loo diiday.
Qodobka 27(1) ee Dastuurku wuxuu sheegayaa in qofka la xidho sida ugu dhaqsaha badan uu ula kulmi karo qaraabadiisa, qareenkiisa iyo cidii kale ee uu codsado.
Dhinaca kale, waxa maanta Maxkamadda Gobolka Hargeysa ay yeedhmo u qortay suxufiyiinta wargeyska Foore, Maxamed Maxamuud Yuusuf iyo Cabdirashiid Cabdiwahaab Ibraahim oo lagu eedeeyey inay qoreen “war been abuur ah” iyo “cay,” sida ku qoran yeedhmada. Lama faah-faahin waxa ay dacwadoodu tahay.
Xaruntu si aad ah ayay uga walaacsan tahay xadhigga Abwaan Abees iyo dacwadda ciqaabta ah ee lagu soo oogay suxufiyiinta wargeyska Foore. Waxaay ka codsanaysaa dawladda Somaliland inay sii dayso Abwaan Cabdiraxmaan Abees, ayna la noqoto eedaha ka dhanka ah suxufiyiinta Foore.
Guleid Ahmed Jama
Agaasimaha Ku-meel gaadhka ah ee Xarunta Xuquuqal Insaanka