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Somaliland: oppressive anti-terrorism law is submitted to the parliament

26th May 2014- The Council of Ministers of Somaliland has presented to the House of the Representatives a bill of Law on Combating and Preventing Terrorism. The bill violates the constitution of Somaliland and the international human rights law. It violates the fundamental freedoms and rights including liberty, freedom to expression, privacy, freedom to assembly, fair trial and right of defence, freedom to movement and freedom to association.

The bill has broad and open-ended definition of terrorism. The definition of terrorism as stipulated in the bill will enable persecution and could be applied in wide range of activities.

The following, among many others, include Human Rights Centre’s concern on the bill:

  1. It creates secret court hearings in which the defendant(s) or representatives are not allowed to attend and defend themselves
  2. It provides the government enormous power to prohibit entities
  3. It provides the power to intercept communications, listen the communications and then use it as evidence
  4. It provides huge powers to the Police to conduct arrests without warrants
  5. It grants the power for seizure and forfeiture of property without due process of law
  6. It establishes procedure that grants discretionary powers to the Police and the prosecution office and restricts the right of defence enshrined in the constitution
  7. The bill is vague and ambiguous
  8. The punishments are harsh and are contrary to the principle of proportionality
  9. It enables the refusal of applications for  registration, and  the  revocation of the  registration,  of the non-governmental organizations or charities
  10. It will have huge negative impact on the money transfers
  11. It covers crimes that are governed by other laws, like crimes related to civil aviation which the civil aviation law administers

Human Rights Centre calls

  • The House of the Representatives to refuse the Law on Combating and Preventing Terrorism
  • The government to withdraw this suppressive draft from the House
  • Any law that is aimed to combat terrorism shall be in accordance with the constitution and the international human rights law


Mowlid Farah Mouse

Executive Director

Human Rights Centre

Hargeisa Somaliland

E: mail:

Mobile: +252 (0)63 440 1990

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