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SOMALI REPUBLIC:
POET HELD OVER POEM CALLING FOR GOVERNMENT REFORM

Update info:
18 Feb 2019
Country:
SOMALI REPUBLIC
Subject:
Abdirahman Ibrahim Adan alias Abdirahman Abees (He, His, him)
Period:
20 May 2019
Distribution date:
18 Feb 2019
UA No:
017/2019

Abdirahman Ibrahim Adan, a poet in Somaliland, has been in detention since 12 January. He was arrested after he had recited a poem the previous day in which he called on the Somaliland government to reform its prisons and criminal justice system.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Somaliland government has increased its efforts to clampdown on dissent since the current government administration took office. The government continues to target poets, journalists, as well as anyone perceived as being opposed to it, or any person from Somaliland who could be perceived as publicly being open to unifying with the rest of Somalia.

PREFERRED LANGUAGE TO ADDRESS TARGET: Somali, English
You can also write in your own language.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE UNTIL: 20 03 2019
Please check with the Amnesty office in your country if you wish to send appeals after the deadline.

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WRITE AN APPEAL IN YOUR OWN WORDS OR USE THIS MODEL LETTER

Attorney General
Hassan Ahmed Adam
Somaliland
Email: hassmo12@yahoo.com

Dear Attorney General,

I am writing to you on the case of Abdirahman Ibrahim Adan (also known as Abdirahman Abees). Abdirahman is a poet and a Somaliland-British dual national.

He was arrested in Hargeisa on 12 January in connection with a poem he recited on 11 January at the Mansoor Hotel in Hargeisa. In the poem, he highlighted issues being faced in Somaliland such as police brutality, arbitrary detention and the degrading treatment of prisoners. The poem also called on the Somaliland government to reform its prisons and the criminal justice system.

His arrest is arbitrary, as it was carried out without a warrant, thereby violating Article 25(2) of the Somaliland Constitution, which states that the police must attain a warrant from a judge before arresting and detaining someone. Abdirahman remains detained at Hargeisa Central Prison. He has yet to be brought before a court or formally charged.

I am calling on the Somaliland government to immediately and unconditionally release Abdirahman Ibrahim Adan from arbitrary detention, as he is detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression. I also urge the government to fully respect, protect, promote and fulfil the right to freedom of expression of everyone in Somaliland.

Yours sincerely,