Somaliland charges jailed poet Naema Ahmed

Neama Ahmed Ibrahim

On 4th March 2018, the Office of the Attorney General charged Neama Ahmed Ibrahim who was arrested on 27th January 2018 from Hargeisa Egal International Airport while she was traveling to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

The prosecution charged Naema 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).

As stated in the charge sheet dated on 4th March, the first charge relates to a Facebook post allegedly written by Naema in her Facebook account. The prosecution says the post “weakens the existence, unity, and solidarity of the State.”

The second charge is about “insult and defamation against the state circulated in the media,” by Naema, the charge sheet says.

If found guilty, Naema could face more than eight years of imprisonment.

Mohamed Kayse Mohamoud who was arrested on 7th February 2018 for Facebook posts, is also in detention. Mohamed was arrested for comments posted on his Facebook account. The Deputy Attorney General who in earlier spoke to VOASomali, called these Facebook posts as a “propaganda against the statehood of Somaliland”.

Somaliland declared restoration of independence from Somalia on 18th May 1991.

The Constitution of Somaliland, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantee freedom of expression.

Human Rights Centre requests the government of Somaliland to drop all charges against Naema, and to release both Naema Ahmed and Mohamed Kayse Mohamoud.

Guleid Ahmed Jama

Director of Human Rights Centre

Hargeysa Somaliland

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