On 26 April, a Hargeisa judge sentenced Boqor Osman aw Muhamed Mohamed, a traditional figure commonly known as Burmadow, to five years in prison for “bringing the state into contempt” and “spreading false news.” While Muhamed was attending the inauguration of an elder in the Puntland region of Somalia, he called for Puntland and
Somaliland to withdraw their troops from the Sool region.According to the judge, his statement “weakened the existence of the sovereignty of Somaliland and denounced the national army”. The judge in Muhamed’s case,Ahmed Dalmar Ismail, denied him access to his lawyer or time to prepare his defence even though he repeatedly asked for both. Instead on the day of the trial, the judge only heard the prosecution’s case and immediately sentenced Muhamed on the same day.
On 7 February, Mohamed Kayse Mohamoud, an author, was arrested and detained for referring to Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi, as a “local” in his Facebook post, On 16 April, he was charged and found guilty of offending the honor of the president as “the president is a national president”. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Amnesty International is concerned that Mohamed Kayse Mohamoud and Boqor Osman aw Muhamed Mohamed have been convicted solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
Please write immediately in Somali or your own language:
Calling on the Somaliland authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mohamed Kayse
Mohamoud and Boqor Osman aw Muhamed Mohamed, as they have been convicted solely for exercising their
right to freedom of expression;
Calling on them to ensure that, pending their release, the two men are granted access to both their lawyers
and families; and
Calling on them to amend broad provisions in their penal code, which allows for the harassment of those
who express public critiques of the Somaliland government.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 27 JUNE 2018 TO:
Somaliland Chief Justice
Somaliland Attorney General
Hassan Ahmed Adan
And copies to:
President of Somaliland
Office of the President
READMORE AMNESTY PRESS STATEMENT ON Somaliland: Men convicted for exercising freedom of speech: Mohamed Kayse Mohamoud and Boqor Osman Aw Mohamoud Mohamed