Somaliland: Bihi releases detained opposition politicians

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The President of Somaliland released opposition politicians and two journalists detained on 9 June protests after a mediating committee implored their release ahead of talks.

 

Saleban Mohamoud Adan, the speaker of the Guurti, the upper chamber of the Parliament, was filmed asking the President to release the detained politicians. The President responded, “I accept that.”

 

The event took place at the office of the President on 5 July 2022.

A few hours later, the politicians who were formally charged with instigation to disobey the law under the Penal Code and mobilising illegal demonstrations under the Public Order Law were freed.

Although the release of the opposition leaders is a sign of progress in the talks, it shows a weakness in Somaliland’s rule of law.

It is a shock to see a president exercising judicial powers.

The Chief Justice was also present at the event, where the mediating committee were trying to convince the President to accept the release of the politicians and to participate in the dialogue.

Although the constitution provides a clear separation of powers, it was clear from the video released by the President’s office of media affairs who was in charge of this judicial affair.

The opposition, journalists associations, local human rights organisations and international human rights/media organisations accuse the judiciary of being under the executive.

The opposition members have been in Mandheera maximum prison, although they have not been convicted of a crime.

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