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Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 02 Poet held over poem calling for government reform
UA 017/19
Somaliland (Somalia)
Aktiv seit 6. Februar 2019 | Noch 31 Tage Laufzeit

Poet held over poem calling for government reform

AI-Index: AFR 52/9798/2019

Abdirahman Ibrahim Adan, a poet in Somaliland, has been in detention since 12 January. He was arrested after he had recited a poem the previous day in which he called on the Somaliland government to reform its prisons and criminal justice system.


The Somaliland government has increased its efforts to clampdown on dissent since the current government administration took office. The government continues to target poets, journalists, as well as anyone perceived as being opposed to it, or any person from Somaliland who could be perceived as publicly being open to unifying with the rest of Somalia.


Take action

  • Write an appeal in your own words or use the model letter below.
  • Please take action before 20 March 2019.
  • Preferred language: Somali, English. You can also write in your own language.


Model letter

Dear Attorney General,

I am writing to you on the case of Abdirahman Ibrahim Adan (also known as Abdirahman Abees). Abdirahman is a poet and a Somaliland-British dual national.

He was arrested in Hargeisa on 12 January in connection with a poem he recited on 11 January at the Mansoor Hotel in Hargeisa. In the poem, he highlighted issues being faced in Somaliland such as police brutality, arbitrary detention and the degrading treatment of prisoners. The poem also called on the Somaliland government to reform its prisons and the criminal justice system.

His arrest is arbitrary, as it was carried out without a warrant, thereby violating Article 25(2) of the Somaliland Constitution, which states that the police must attain a warrant from a judge before arresting and detaining someone. Abdirahman remains detained at Hargeisa Central Prison. He has yet to be brought before a court or formally charged.

I am calling on the Somaliland government to immediately and unconditionally release Abdirahman Ibrahim Adan from arbitrary detention, as he is detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression. I also urge the government to fully respect, protect, promote and fulfil the right to freedom of expression of everyone in Somaliland.

Yours sincerely,

Appeals to

Attorney General
Hassan Ahmed Adam


Salutation: Dear Attorney General,



Copies to

President of Somaliland
Muse Bihi Abdi, Office of the President


Minister of Interior of Somaliland
Mohamed Kahin Ahmed, Minister of Interior


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