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Human Right Centre calls for release of Somaliland poet

Hiiraan Online
Sunday April 15, 2018

Hargeisa (HOL) - Human Right Watchdog based in Hargeisa has called on Somaliland authorities to Somali poet and activist, Naema Ahmed Ibrahim (Qorane)

Qorane was on Sunday sentenced to three in prison after being convicted of insulting and defamation against Somaliland.

In a statement, Somaliland Human Right Centre asked the authorities of the breakaway Somaliland to respect the constitution of the region.

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“We are very concerned about the conviction and sentence of Neame. Freedom of expression is enshrined and protected by the Constitution of Somaliland,” says Guleid Ahmed Jama, the director of Human Rights Centre.

“We urge the government of Somaliland to respect its own constitution. We are also very concerned about the allegations of ill-treatment made by the lawyers of Naema,” he added.

The group expressed concern over allegations of ill-treatment and intimidation against the poet-activist.

Three lawyers for Ibrahim have told the court that officers from National Intelligence Agency (NIA) held a pistol to their client's head while was she in NIA custody.

The trio who are Jama Ismail Ali, Jamaal Hussein Ahmed and Mubarak Abdi Ismail said Ibrahim was threatened with rape and death by members of the spy agency.

“They threatened to unleash a Nigerian to do anything sexually assault her, they said the Nigerian was within the station and had been previously been deployed severally to sexually assault women in the police cell," said the lawyers in a sworn affidavit.

According to the court in Hargeisa, Ibrahim who arrested in January this year was found of publishing material regarded as ‘bringing the state into contempt’ on Facebook.

Initially, the prosecution charged Ibrahim of two accounts: Anti-national Activity of a citizen abroad (article 212 of the Penal Code) and Bringing the Nation or the state into contempt (article 219 (2) of the Penal Code).

But the court dismissed the first charge of Anti-national Activity of a citizen abroad (article 212 of the Penal Code).

After the court ruling, the lawyers of the crestfallen poet vowed to appeal the verdict.

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