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Freedom for Mr. Abdi Adan Diiriye, a Prisoner of Conscience

"Somaliland’s”  False Claims to Democratic Governance: Outing the ‘Best Kept Secret’

For Immediate Release


Mr. Abdi Adan Diiriye

For the past few years the world has been deafened by the repeated claims of the self-declared secessionists enclave in the Northern West region of the Somali Republic (“Somaliland’) and their hired foreign Lobbyists that democracy is flourishing in that part of Somalia. They promote ‘Somaliland’ as the ‘Best Kept Secret’ in Africa.  But the reality of the ‘Best Kept Secret’ emerges again and again in the form of repeated stark violations of the basic civil rights of ordinary citizens, the summary deportation of Somali citizens, the arbitrary detention of journalists, human rights groups, and any other member of the civil society who questions their misguided secessionist’s agenda.


Although many of these human rights violations were documented in the past the case that created an international outcry and a direct intervention by the Amnesty International was the case of a 16-year old Somali girl who while on a visit to relatives in Hargeisa on August 14, 2004 was accused of espionage, arrested, raped and imprisoned without due process for more than 5 months.



In following this pattern of intimidation and harassment of citizens, on August 1, 2006 the ‘Somaliland’ CID police arrested and continue to detain Mr. Abdi Adan Diiriye in the infamous Hargeisa Central Prison. Mr. Diirye, an employee of a local Bank, committed the cardinal sin (in the eyes of the keepers of the Secrets) of giving an interview to a Somali website and announcing that he is the local representative of The Somali Social Unity Party (SSUP), a fledgling pro-unity political movement that promotes peace and harmony among all Somalis. That basic right for freedom of speech and political association rattled the restless guardians of the secession project, resulting in Mr Diirye being dragged from his home in the darkness of the night into a jail cell where he remains.


Mr. Diiriye’s case lays bare the falsehood of “Somaliland’s” claim that the secession was 
endorsed through a fair and open referendum. The reality is far detached from this self-serving
assertion. It was a bogus referendum where the voices of the anti-secessionists’ forces were
muzzled in a fashion not dissimilar to that of how Mr. Diiriye was intimidated and incarcerated
last week by the infamous “Somaliland” CID Police.
Underneath the facade of electoral democracy and the shroud of the “Best Kept Secret” lurks an 
oppressive regime which is contemptuous of individual rights and freedoms.

Northern Somalis for Peace & Unity (NSPU) is deeply concerned about the continued detention of Mr. Abdi Adan Diiriye and condemns in the strongest terms this flagrant violation of a citizen’s right to free speech. Thus NSPU demands:


  • The immediate release of Mr Abdi Adan Diiriye; and
  • Calls upon the Somali Civil Society at large, local and International Human Rights groups to protest his detention, and if charged, make sure that he has legal representation and his case is heard in open court.


Gamal Hassan

Director, Communication & Public Relations 

5470 Merivale Rd. Ottawa, Ontario. K2C 3M1 Canada

NORTHERN SOMALIS FOR PEACE & UNITY (NSPU) is a grass-roots Somali advocacy organization with Branches in Somalia, United Arab Emirates, Canada, USA, UK, and South Africa. We are dedicated to the promotion of peace and unity among the long suffering people of Somalia.  We believe the ‘Somalia problem’ can only be dealt with within the framework of a holistic strategic approach aimed at the empowerment of a central government to rebuild national democratic  governance institutions and restore law and order throughout the country. NSPU believes the balkanization of Somalia is a recipe for future conflicts and a bleak future for the  Somali people, who are bonded by ethnicity, language, religion, and shared centuries-old  culture and  traditions.

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