Somaliland:Civilian Arrested and Charged in a Military Court
Mrs Saado Jaamac Aadan, a civilian, was arrested by police in Somaliland and has been charged in a closed military court. She has not been allowed access to a lawyer nor granted bail. She is currently detained in Hargeisa.
Mrs Saado Jaamac Aadan was arrested by the police on 12 March from her home in Berbera at about 10.30 pm local time. She was arrested without a warrant, in violation of Article 25(2) of the Somaliland Constitution which states that “no person may be arrested, searched, or detained, except when caught in the act of committing crime, or on the issue of a reasoned arrest warrant by a competent judge.”
The police took her to Hargeisa Central Police Station, 190 km away from Berbera. She was accused of communicating and sending money to a man who is involved in a clan militia that allegedly killed a police commander in Saahil region. She was charged in a closed military court at the Hargeisa Central Police Station on 13 March. Mrs Saado Jaamac Aadan has been remanded in custody, without bail. She did not have a lawyer or family members present during the court session. Charging her in a military court and without any legal representation violates the Somaliland constitution which restricts the jurisdiction of Military courts only to members of the armed forces, and guarantees the right of any person in custody to legal representation, and access to relatives or any other persons they ask for. The government of Somaliland is obliged to obey and uphold the country’s constitution.
It is not clear why Mrs Saado Jaamac Aadan was not granted bail. She complains that she been psychologically tortured through denial of food and access to her lawyer and family members while in custody. Her continued incarceration without trial and without access to her lawyer and family members violates her human right to personal liberty and presumption of innocence and sets a bad precedent for the rule of law in Somaliland. Charging her before a closed military court also violates fundamental international law requirements for a fair trial, including the right to be tried before a competent, independent and impartial court established by law and the right to appeal to a higher court.
Please write immediately in English, Somali or your own language: Calling on the Somaliland authorities to immediately transfer Mrs Saado Jaamac Aadan’s case to a civilian court, and try her in line with international standards for fair trial; Urging them to allow Mrs Saado Jaamac Aadan immediate and regular access to her family and a lawyer of her choice; Urging them to ensure that she is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 10 MAY 2016 TO:
Attorney General H.E Hassan Ahmed Adam Office of the Attorney General Government of Somaliland Hargeisa, Somaliland Email: email@example.com Salutation:
Dear Attorney General Minister of Justice & Judicial Affairs H.E. Hussein Ahmed Eideed Ministry of Justice & Judicial Affairs Government of Somaliland Hargeisa, Somaliland Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Salutation: Dear Minister
Minister of Interior H.E Ali Mohamed Waran Cade Ministry of Interior Government of Somaliland Hargeisa, Somaliland Salutation: Dear Minister
URGENT ACTION CIVILIAN ARRESTED AND CHARGED IN A MILITARY COURT
Mrs Saado Jaamac Aadan is a mother of ten children and her husband is partially paralysed as a result of stroke which he suffered two years ago.
Name: Saado Jaamac Aadan Gender m/f: f
UA: 65/16 Index: AFR 52/3680/2016 Issue Date: 29 March 2016
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