Urgent Action: Poet Held Over Poem Calling for Government Reform (Somaliland: UA 17.19)

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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Hassan Ahmed Adam
Attorney General
Email: [email protected]  
Representative Dr. Sa’ad Sheikh Osman Noor
Somaliland Mission in USA
1425 K Street, NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20005
Contact Form: https://bit.ly/2GtC05t
Facebook: @SomalilandMission
Salutation: Dear Representative

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,