Somaliland government should immediately release jailed poet Naema Ahmed Ibrahim, Human Rights Centre said in a statement.
On 27th January 2018, Naema Ahmed Ibrahim, a poet, was arrested by the National Intelligence Agency from Hargeisa Egal International Airport while she was traveling to Mogadishu, according to Ahmed Ibrahim, Naema’s father who spoke to HRC.
Naema was first held in a facility run by the National Intelligence Agency. On 28th January, she was transferred to the Central Police Station where she is now detained, sources confirmed to HRC.
She was brought to Hargeisa Regional Court on 29th January 2018 and 1st February 2018. The court remanded her into custody. No official charges are filed by the prosecution. But she is held for Facebook posts allegedly related to the unity of Somalia, according to her lawyer, Mubarik Abdi.
The police denied her family to meet Naema after the father spoke to the media, according to family members.
Naema was arrested without a court warrant, lawyer Mubarik told HRC. According to article 25 of Somaliland Constitution, “no person may be arrested, searched, or detained, except when caught in flagrante delicto, or on the issue of a reasoned arrest warrant by a competent judge.”
“The arrest of Naema without a court warrant for expressing her opinion is contrary to the Constitution. Both the Constitution of Somaliland and the international human rights instruments guarantee freedom of expression,” says Guleid Ahmed Jama, the chairperson of Human Rights Centre.
“We are very concerned about the detention of Naema who is held for her political opinion. The government should respect its Constitution,” Guleid added.
Human Rights Centre requests the government of Somaliland to allow family members to visit her, and to immediately release Naema.
Guleid Ahmed Jama
Director of Human Rights Centre, Hargeisa Somaliland