Human Rights Centre (HRC) calls on the government of Somaliland to
immediately release four people who are arbitrarily imprisoned.
On July 2018 Abdilahi Farah Abdilaahi, 13 years, Said Jama Ismail, 16 years, Jama
Ibrahim Hasan and Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed were rounded up from
different places in Erigavo district of Sanaag region without a court warrant.
They have been rounded up by the Rapid Reaction Unit (RRU) of the Police. They
were immediately taken to Hargeisa Central Prison, hundreds of miles away from
their homes and families.
They were never brought before a judge.
In 2018, clan clashes happened in Eryan village (Ceeryaan in Somali) between two
clans. Three people died, according to the government officials. The Rapid
Reaction Unit, a paramilitary police unit, was deployed at the area. The RRU
rounded up the four people.
Article 27(2) of the Constitution of Somaliland says “any person who is deprived
of his liberty because of alleged criminal offenses shall have the right to be brought
before a court within 48 (forty-eight) hours of his arrest.”
“They have never been brought to court. No charges are pending against them.
There is no charge sheet. No criminal report filed with the court or the
prosecution office" says Yasmin Omar Haji Mohamoud, the chairperson of
Human Rights Centre.
They have been in prison in thirteen months without a trial. Article 47(3) of the
Somaliland Criminal Procedure Code states that “until the date of the trial has
been fixed, an accused in custody shall be brought before the judge every seven
“It is clear that the Criminal Procedure Code has been violated. You cannot put
someone in prison indefinitely without trial,” says Yasmin adds.
Contrary to the Juvenile Justice Law and international human rights standards, two
of the detainees are children under the age of 18.
“The authorities cannot use clan conflicts as a pretext to set aside the
constitutional guarantees. It is this time you should test the credibility and strength
of the institutions. The judiciary shall function not only in peacetime but also
during armed conflict,” She added.
Article 9(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights says
“everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected
to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on
such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.”
Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that no one shall be
subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention”.
Human Rights Centre calls on the government of Somaliland to respect its
constitution and release jailed people who are held in prison without due process
of law and to stop other similar imprisonments taking place in Sanaag region.
The Centre calls on the judiciary to protect liberties and safeguard that arrests
carried out in Sanaag are made in accordance with the constitution.
Yasmin Omar H Mohamoud
Chairperson of Human Rights Centre