23rd October 2016- Human Right Centre calls on Somaliland government to release 24 people who are in detention since 17th June 2016 without charges. The 24 men were arrested from Ainabo district, Saraar region, on 17th June 2016 without court warrant. They are neither brought to court nor charged of any crime. Eighteen of them are held in Mandheera prison and six are in Ainabo prison. Chief Salaad Yuusuf Qodax, Chief Salaad Faarax Yuusuf and Chief Aadan Salaad Jaamac are among them.
According to their families and other sources, the men who are elders were arrested after a man of their clan allegedly killed another man. The authorities demanded the clansmen to apprehend the suspect who escapade after the purported incident. They are not accused of involvement of the alleged killing.
They are held on the order of the governor of Saraar region, according to the sources. Somaliland laws do not allow governors to remand people in custody. On 29th September, Human Rights Centre informed the issue in written to the Minister of Justice, copying to the Minister of Interior and the Chief Justice.
According to article 25 of Somaliland constitution no person shall be deprived of his liberty except in accordance with the law. The law requires arrested persons to be brought to court within 48 hours. These 24 persons were not brought before court, and no competent judge allowed their detention as mandated by the law. Article 26 (2) of Somaliland Constitution says “the liability for the punishment of any crime shall be confined to the offender only”.
Human Rights Centre requests the government of Somaliland to release the 24 people.
Guleid Ahmed Jama
Chairperson of Human Rights Centre