Date: April 22, 2015
Madashu (The NFCR) strongly condemns only the illegal detention of the Chair of the Human Rights Center (HRC), His Excellency Gulaid Ahmed Jama, but also the degrading and punitive conditions under which he has been held for several days until now by the government of Somaliland.
It is not the first time that the government has blatantly and arrogantly violated the inalienable rights of Somaliland citizens. For the current government, such unconstitutional transgressions have become the norm, not the exception. Before HE Gulaid, tens of other citizens underwent the same or even more oppressive and extrajudicial mistreatments.
The only crime HE Gulaid and other citizens before him committed was exercising their constitutional and universal right to express freely their opinions on the state of the nation in general or on specific issues thereof in particular. We may also be reminded that both the Haatuf and Hubaal newspapers remain closed for more than a year or so and that, additionally, the government has been typically waging a constant war of attrition with the nation’s Free Press.
It is obvious that the government is intentionally oblivious to the tenets of Free Expression of Opinion, whether as an individual or as institutions, and Peaceful Assembly or Association, which are enshrined in both our nation’s Constitution as well as in the Geneva Convention of Universal Human Rights. Above all these creeds are integral and cherished components of Somalilanders’ core values and traditions.
For the government to persistently deny the citizens these inalienable privileges is a national treachery, no less. Perhaps the day of accountability is not that far off.
In meantime, the NFCR calls for the immediate restoration of HE Gulaid’s and similarly detained citizens’ freedoms as well the lifting of the unjustifiable bans imposed on Haatuf and Hubaal Newspapers. In the two month left of its mandate, we would urge the government to desist from undertaking similar illegal actions and policies.
Ahmed Ibrahim H. Hassan