Silanyo Speaks of Political Harrassment By Riyale Administration

Axmed Silanyo
Ahmed Silanyo
Chairman of KULMIYE Party

HARGEISA (Somaliland.Org) Supporters and members of the public gathered at the headquarters of KULMIYE party today, see pictures, following yesterday’s announcement by the party inviting the public to come and listen the party’s views on current political crisis in Somaliland.

The people who gathered, including supporters and independents, expressed their opposition to the disputed extension of Riyale’s term in office by the Guurti. The crowd also chanted words in support of the position of the two opposition parties on the extension. The leaders of both political parties UCID and KULMIYE, came out strongly opposing the extension as illegal and unconstitutional.

Addressing the gathering, Ahmed Silanyo, the chairman of KULMIYE party, said Riyale administration has in recent times increased the harassment of his party members, which includes political arrests.

Isu Soobax Laysugu Yimid Xarrunta Dhexe ee KULMIYE
Halkan ka daawo Sawirada

Silanyo was referring to the recent spate of arrests of both party members and civilians. Mr. Abshir Hassan Hashi who was arrested on Tuesday May 1, is a member of the party. Abshir was once employed as the personal chauffeur of the first lady, the wive of Riyale.

The commander of the police force Mohamed Saqadhi Dubbad, speaking to the government controlled Radio Hargeisa, vehemently denied Hashi’s arrest had anything to do with politics but did not give a reason for his arrest. Almost in every politically motivated arrest, the victim is not given a reason and police officers executing the arrest, lack arrest warrants, often citing that they are simply obeying orders from higher up.

The commander’s statement contradicted another one which he made a day earlier to a BBC Somali language reporter. In that interview the commander said Hashi was arrested “because he defamed the president’s name by making false statements about him and the police were after him for a long time”.

Cabdillaahi Cirro
Abdillahi Ismail Ali (Cirro), The Interior Minister
Orders of political arrests originate from Riyale’s inner circles

On April 12, the police also arrested Mr. Ahmed Omar Abdillahi (Xamarji). Reliable reports also said they were looking for Mohamed Kahin. Both Abdillahi and Kahin are top KULMIYE party officials. The reason for the arrest was said later to be related to few “controlled” bomb explosions that were set off in various locations in Hargeisa. Our sources say it is a generally held view that explosions were carefully orchestrated by Riyale’s administration to create a state of fear among the public and justify the Guurti’s extension of his term on the grounds of insecurity.

Within days two elders who publicly expressed their opposition to the Guurti’s extension were also arrested in Hargeisa.

Mr. Xamarji and the elders were released four days later, although they were not told why they were imprisoned. The Interior Minister Mr. Cirro told the BBC Somali reporter “we did not have any evidence in the first place. If we a had any evidence we would not have let them go”.

Although these arrests are against the law in Somaliland, they have nevertheless become a common practice under Riyale’s administration as evidenced by this statement which the minister made to the BBC Somali implying that extrajudicial arrests, and the long detentions of civilians who are accused of unsubstantiated crimes against the state or the president, are the norm rather than the exception.

Mohamed Saqadhi Dubbad
Mohamed Saqadhi Dubbad, The commander of the police force
Only obeying orders from higher up
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