Djibouti:Closing Rahma mosque, an affront to freedom of thought, conscience and religion


indexPress release

Djibouti, June 29, 2014Article 18: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom to manifest his religion or belief alone or in community with others and in public or private, in teaching, practice, worship and rites. (Universal Declaration of Human Rights)


ARTICLE 8: Freedom of conscience, the profession and free practice of religion shall be guaranteed. Subject to public order, no person shall be subject to coercive measures to restrict the exercise of these freedoms. (African Charter on Human Rights)


ARTICLE 11   Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, worship and opinion in accordance with the order established by the law and regulations.
(Djibouti Constitution)

It is urgent or beneficial to restore legality in the Republic of Djibouti to the benefit of all the people of Djibouti after 16 months of unprecedented political crisis marked by an unprecedented repression (intimidation, arrests, imprisonment, custody illegal, abusive investments warrant, death in custody of a teacher dismissals of teachers,   arbitrary harassment   and   torture for many opponents, opposition activists, human rights defenders and ordinary citizens).

After the dissolution of the Al-Biri association and the devolution of all the assets of the corporation at Diwan Al-Zakat in February 2014 is the closing last week of Rahma Mosque, located in the city Gachamaleh, which challenges all consciences.

Indeed, last week, the police intervened repeatedly to evacuate the faithful and occupy the place of worship. The mosque remains today under police occupation to prevent the faithful to their prayers.

The ODDH denounces and joins the inhabitants of the city Gachamaleh of 7a neighborhood, Ward 7 and all the faithful in their denunciation of the methods used by the authorities and face   injustice done to them not being able to worship in their mosque. The closure of the Rahma Mosque is another provocation of public power to poison an already tense political situation.

This closure seems to be decided by mutual agreement between the Minister of Muslim Affairs, Culture and Welfare Waqf and the Interior Ministry. It would be wise before signing orders   closure to ensure the right of citizens to practice their religion freely.

The ODDH request and calls for public office, the Ombudsman of the Republic of Djibouti to the mayor and city prefect to intervene to find in consultation with concerned citizens and the faithful of the Rahma Mosque fair solution that would allow faithful to freely practice their religion.

The ODDH calls for the international community and all Djiboutian citizens to work towards a peaceful and democratic society in which human rights are respected.


The ODDH recommends to comply with international standards ratified by Djibouti to the constitutional provisions relating to the protection of citizens, respect for fundamental freedoms, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the International Covenant Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


The ODDH calls for public authorities to release all political prisoners and the opening of a respectful and fair political dialogue to overcome the unprecedented crisis.


Act for democracy, dignity and justice.

The President of the ODDH

Farah Abdillahi Miguil


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