HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE ORGANIZATION 

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PRESS RELEASE 

5th March 2024

Human rights and Justice organisation urges the international community to investigate Somalia’s extrajudicial killings and arbitrary detention of Somalilanders.

Human Rights and Justice Organisation (HRJO) deplores the extrajudicial killing and arbitrary arrests of Republic of Somaliland citizens in Somalia.

Mr. Abdinasir Muse, and Mr. Abdi Haji Hasan Abraar – both employees of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Somalia. Were brutally murdered. Mr. Ahmed Aden former Somalia MP was also murdered in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Furthermore, the following aviation professionals from the Republic of Somaliland recruited by ICAO are under arbitrary detention by NISA of Somalia and reportedly facing torture, with one individual said to have died due to being waterboarded.

Mr. Abdirahman Abdillahi Farrah, Mr. Mubarik Nur Ali, Mr. Mohamed Abdirahman, Mr. Almis Saleban,

Mr. Salal Khalaf and Mr. Nuurudin Illeye are part of the 6 people originally arbitrarily detained. Emerging evidence indicates the arrests of 3 more individuals from Somaliland under a similar circumstance.

The individuals murdered and those detained are aviation staff and or potential witness to the assassination.

An alarm pattern is also emerging that all victims are of Somaliland origin, particularly of Isaaq Somalilanders who were already a targeted group and subjects of Somalia’s past crime of genocide in the 80’s. 

These assassinations followed a recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Republic of Somaliland and the federal Republic of Ethiopia. This has angered Somalia who lays illegitimate jurisdiction claim over Somaliland, despite it being unfounded, as Somaliland independence predates that of Somalia. It’s believed these assassinations are in retaliation,

Preliminary autopsy reports of the some of the victims who were repatriated to the Republic of Somaliland following request by their families and public pressure were delayed in return and one of the bodies showed evidence of extreme torture. The bodies were in a state of advanced decomposition and evidence showed that they have not been kept in refrigerated Mortuary for preservation, which appears to be an attempt to conceal evidence.

Following the killings, Somalia arrested 7 Somalilanders who are their aviation staff and it’s understood those workers are targeted due to their origin. We have received the names and photos from relatives, and we request urgent contact from appropriate organizations who can support their safe release and return safely.

In addition, there has been avalanche of distress calls from Somalilanders residing in Somalia who have no way of escaping and families have been informed of threat to kill made by Somalia government against their loved ones.

There is no avenue for safe escape and distressed calls by relatives of those detained have continued to call for their rescue which has fallen on deaf ears, as the situation has not been picked up by the mainstream media.

In addition to these killings and assassinations, Somalia government and citizens intensified propaganda and hate speech including calling jihad on Somaliland and Ethiopia and their leaders have gone as far as to say that they have Alshabaab at their disposal to collaborate to defend what they perceived as “Somali nation”. There was similar communication from Alshabaab also. The denial of Somaliland statehood is used for incitement and justification for ongoing genocide and violence.

There was two major incidents involving Somalia, initially refusing an Air Ambulance to land in Somaliland territory to pick up a haemorrhaging patient who needed evacuations by air to Ethiopia for treatment as subjugation and economic embargo for 64 years means Somaliland lacks basic necessities. This situation is calculated to bring about death of this individual and many others. It prompted Somaliland to assume control of its airspace to some degree where possible, but the battle continues.

It has reached a dangerous level whereby Somalia has caused a near collision of two international planes belonging to Qatar and Ethiopia mid-air over Somaliland airspace, whereby Mogadishu FIR interfered and gave descend orders to both planes same altitude which would have staged them to head-to-head collision.

This escalation is largely ignored by international community. The outcome can be catastrophic.

We demand complete investigations of these incidents with integrity and transparency and to hold Somalia accountable.

Families of Somalia’s victims reported to have aired their fear for their safety. They have been facing intimidation and those held by Somalia’s National Intelligence Security Agency (NISA) remain missing with plausible information that indicates Ahmed Muse was killed due to him getting information during a visit to the prisoners during which one of the detainees allegedly told Ahmed of being waterboarded (water torture) daily. There is also unverified account that two of the 7 detainees were evacuated by American embassy following severe torture. However, it’s unknown why the remaining of the detainees were not rescued.

 In conclusion we urge the international community and the human rights organisations to assist and evacuate Somalilanders that reside in Somalia who fear for their safety and who are unable to leave due to fear of being detained or killed by Somalia authorities.

Signed 

 chairman Hassan Mohamed     

Human Rights and Justice Organization

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