By: Human Right Center
Human Rights Centre is publishing its second quarterly report for the months of May-August 2022. The report indicates human rights abuses occurred for the past 4 months in Somaliland. These violations comprise of police brutality, suppression of freedom of expression and media, arbitrary detention and a SGBV case that emphasizes the breakdown of the systems of governance in Somaliland and the general conditions of three locations of IDPs in Hargeisa, Somaliland.
of cases related to police brutality, legal framework does not exist to oversee the actions of the police, thereby creating system of impunity. Across the region, opposition party and citizens took to the streets to demonstrate the postponement of the presidential elections. Within the two demonstrations on June 9th and August 11th, 2022, the Centre had recorded countless individuals arrested for participating in the demonstrations, totaling a record. Each demonstration resulting in the arbitrary arrests of opposition members and citizens alike. The august 11, 2022 demonstrations were the deadliest. As stated at a police press conference, records showed the death of five civilians. In the aftermath of each protest and prison scuffle in April 2022 which recorded the highest month of journalists arrested thus far, opposition members and journalists were tortured, beaten, threatened, intimidated, and assaulted with police batons in each event, violating the privacy of each citizen and international standards of human rights.
Police brutality can be countered, and a solution could be found should the Police Act be implemented, drafted with the safety of both civilians and police in mind, with an independent oversight committee selected. There are still a record number of individuals still detained indefinitely, including two traditional elders and six opposition members in Mandhera and Baki
prisons. According to information gathered by the Centre with various sources, five people died across the region, along with the arrest’s records from Prosecutor’s office, and a total 135 people, including the protestors, journalists, traditional elders, and opposition members.
Three media houses were shutdown. BBC Somali was banned on July 19th, while BBC Media Action was banned on July 24, 2022, with five of its staff arrested and released within 24 hrs. The Ministry of Information, National Guidance, and Culture has also banned CBA TV from operating in Somaliland, undermining free media in Somaliland by forcing closure practices.
Somaliland is facing a humanitarian crisis, with the worst drought record currenly. In a press conference with the Chairperson of the Somaliland National Drought Committee, over 800,000 people will experience food insecurity and water shortages. Along with this humanitarian crise, the situation is further conflated with displacements. The Centre conducted interviews in three IDPs located in Hargeisa, Istanbul A and B, and Daami. Istanbul A is privately owned; therefore, the residents were forcibly evicted without notice. They were evicted using dogs, vigilante mobs and intimidation tactics such as burning of their shelters. The conditions facing the residents poses difficult challenges and little government involvement, from the local and national government.
Yasmin Omar H. Mohamoud Chairperson of the Human Rights Center