I was in Hargeisa last year when Mujahid Yusuf Gabobe was arrested for the articles Haatuf published. Abshir Hassan courageously confirmed on television everything that was quoted in that article and much more. He was a loyal servant of Riyale and his family for too long and he gave up his job when his conscience reached its threshold. I know he went into hiding immediately because his life was threatened. He must have hit a nerve if Riyale and his wife were still after him and finally closed on him yesterday. Riyale’s frame of mind is that of keeping eunuchs – castrated men who served kings in old Arab slave system. These men were not threat to the power or their wives. They lived in the Harem without offending. They remained to serve the king but looked away when he was with his family. Riyale seems to expect the same from those around him and to voice an opinion like Abshir Hassan did is dealt with death.
The people of Somaliland should worry about Abshir’s welfare. Riyale and his family hate him for betraying their trust and they can hurt him. He is young family man so everything should be done to expose his wrongful arrest. Let the humanitarian organizations like Amnesty International be informed of this case. It’s as serious as all the imprisonments and tortures that took place in the Siad Barre prison camps. Remember! Riyale is one of Siad Barre’s torture angels. You can just imagine how he will deal with his own enemy and Abshir Hassan is enemy number one for him, his family and his government.
At the time in Hargeisa, when Abshir went into hiding most of us were surprised. We thought he might have failed Yusuf Gabobe who needed his live testimony but after careful thought about how cruel Riyale dealt with the public I could not blame him for saving his skin. Who more than Abshir knows the severity of Riyale’s torture thongs, he had no choice but to run for his life. One can be fiercely afraid of the pain he/she knows. Abshir must have known the insensitive callous ways of Dahir Riyale. It is so sad that today this young father is in the hands of this cruel tyrant. People should stand up for his right and do everything to get him released.
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