Somalia: Secession court sentences prominent tribal chief to two years

Published On: Wednesday, March, 20 2013 - 22:14:34 This post has been viewed 1650 times

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"It is a fundamental right for a person to go anywhere he pleases without having any restrictions imposed on him," Ahmed Yusuf Hussein, director of the Hargeisa-based Horn Human Rights Umbrella, told Sabahi Online.

HARGEISA -- A district court in Somalia's separatist state of Somaliland on Wednesday sentenced Rabi Yusuf Abdullahi, a prominent Somali clan elder, to two years imprisonment terms for seeking stability for Somalia.
Mr. Abdullahi, who is a senior Sultan of the Idagale clan, was abducted from Hargeisa airport by forces loyal to the secessionist last month after returning from a trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Hargeisa-based court accused the elder of supporting the Somali government and its parliament in Mogadishu, which it considers a threat.
During proceeding Judge Osman Farah said Sultan Rabi was found guilty of breaking the secession's article 212, which deals with high treason. He emphasized that he was convicted for his role in the formation of Somalia's current assembly and for having participated in number of conferences that were deemed "harm to Somaliland's existence".
The article states that residents of North Somalia (Somaliland region) must not participate in Somalia's reconciliation process or hold any political portfolio in Somalia's parliament and government.
The accused elder stated he does not recognize the court's authority or proceedings citing the region is still part of Somalia and one can not be tried for treason for travelling within his own country. More than 20 other people are still in detention awaiting similar trials including two politicians and two members of Somali Football Federation.
The secessionist region, which break away from the Somali state in 1991, has been lately sweeping people travelling to southern Somalia in an effort to further isolate them. Human right groups in the region condemned the crack down calling it violation of basic human rights.
"It is a fundamental right for a person to go anywhere he pleases without having any restrictions imposed on him," Ahmed Yusuf Hussein, director of the Hargeisa-based Horn Human Rights Umbrella, told Sabahi Online.
People in north Somalia are now fearful the Somaliland authority, which adopted North Korean style doctrine, will begin arresting them for simply visiting other parts of the country.
At least two members of Somalia's government are currently being held in prisons in Hargeisa. They were taken into custody after visiting their constituencies and relatives.
Somaliland declared itself a sovereign state after the ouster of Dictator Mohamed Siad Bare, however, its secession from Somalia has not been recognised by the Somali government or the international community. The residents in the part of Somalia have complained about the self-styled authority time and time again.

Abdisamad Mooge "Kayse"

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