Female Muslim poet in Somaliland detained without charge for a social media post

2018-04-11T13:27:51+00:00 February 8th, 2018|CAGE Africa, Press Release|

Johannesburg – CAGE Africa calls for the immediate release of poet Naema Ahmed Ibrahim, who was detained late last month by Somaliland security services on her way to Somalia.

According to lawyers, Ms Ibrahim was arrested without a court warrant, and simply due to a social media post in which she allegedly referred to the unity of Somalia. She is also a women’s rights activist.

According to Guleid Ahmed Jama, Director of the Human Rights Centre in Hargeisa, Somaliland, Ms Ibrahim has been remanded in custody until February 15. She has not been allowed to receive visits from her family.

Feroze Boda, spokesperson for CAGE Africa, said:

“It is unacceptable and a violation of the rule of law to arrest someone without a warrant, and then detain them without charge for almost a month in relation to a simple opinion expressed on social media.”

“These kinds of arrests are part of a broader campaign in Africa in which government security services are expected to play ball in the US-led ‘War on Terror’, and they do so by cracking down on Muslim activists such as Ms Ibrahim.”

“In this age of perpetual global war, our opinions and beliefs are policed. Muslims and others concerned with justice should be under no illusion that their social media activity is being monitored. However, instead of increasing security, this will ultimately lead to a closed society where people self-censor and find other possibly less productive methods of expressing their beliefs. This is dangerous. As such, attempts by government to muzzle prominent thinkers like Ms Ibrahim should be called out as they happen, and pressure mounted to secure the freedom of these important voices.”

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