A pressure group based in the United Kingdom has entered the fray in the fight for democratic space in Somaliland by filing a complaint to the Amnesty International over the continued human rights abuses in the Horn of Africa nation.
Somaliland AID has flagged Somaliland Government’s torturing and imprisoning the leaders and supporters of the opposition.
The compliant focused on the arrest of Yusuf Nuh Yusuf (Tadhase), the Sports Secretary of the Waddani Party, Mawlid Kayse Mohamed (Mawliid Qaro) Regional Chairman of the Marodijeh Party and other members of the Central Committee imprisoned in Baki.
In a letter dated August 20, 2022 and addressed to The Human Rights Centre, New Inn Yard in London, the Somaliland Aid said it is deeply concerned over the continued arbitrary detention of opposition leaders in Somaliland.
“Based on the information available to us, the individuals who are in custody without trial are Yussuf Nuux Yussuf- the Shadow Secretary for Sport and Youth, Mowlid Kayse Muhammud, the party chairman for Hargeisa, Hassan Abdi Mohamed and Yusuf Ali Osman who are prominent politicians for the Waddani party,” the letter signed by Somaliland Aid chairmen Abdi Adan and Hassan Finnin stated.
The letter stated further that these opposition officials were arrested almost a month ago but are yet to be taken to court.
The four were among the arrested on August 11 during demonstrations called by the opposition parties Waddani and UCID to pressure the government of president Musa Bihi to hold presidential elections on November 13 as per the country’s constitution.
“Sadly, this hasty incarceration of opposition politicians is intended to silence the government critics who are calling for the presidential elections to be held on November 13 as planned. The government is also taking a hard line approach on people who are exposing the human rights violations in Somaliland.”
The pressure group in their letter further stated that the government is determined to crash opposition supporters who are taking their frustrations to the streets and calling for the elections.
“So far these officials have not been charged of any crime and they have not been taken to court to face trial. No information has been given to their families on their whereabouts or on the crimes they are accused to have committed. Furthermore, there is information that they have been subjected to physical abuses in prison,” the Somaliland Aid alleged.
“It is apparent that the current judicial system in Somaliland is almost non-existent when it comes to opposition party officials.”
“The judicial system has a reputation of hastily sending innocent politicians to detention without due process as the entire legal system of the country was appointed by the president himself and they cannot go against the government’s wishes, thus they often imprison innocent opposition politicians.”
They said they are alarmed, distressed and profoundly concerned about the welfare of those in prison accusing the president of abusing his constitutional right by silencing his critics.
Somaliland Aid now wants the Amnesty International to expose the abuses in Somaliland and pressure the government to release the incarcerated opposition politicians.