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Somaliland’s Scandalous Justice Systems

ISSUE 270
Front Page
Index
Headlines

"We Will Be Treating Somaliland As A Self Governing Region," Swedish
Ambassador, Jen Olander

Human Rights Umbrella Concerned about Government's Human Rights Violations

Awdal Women Raise Funds For First Fistula Hospital In Somaliland, 2nd In Africa

Plane Aiding AU Peacekeepers Shot Down in Somalia

Somali Government Shuts Down Al-Jazeera Bureau

External Intervention Won't Help - EU

Eritrea Insists On UPDF Pullout

Somalia Tops Minority Report Danger List

Awdal Convention In North America To Be Held In June 2007

Mission Report on the Trial Observation of Detained Human Rights Defenders
in Somaliland

Regional Affairs

Horn Of Africa Fishermen Hope To Net Lucrative Western Markets

Rights Groups Accuse Kenya of Secret Deportations

Editorial
Special Report

International News

U.S.-led Terror War Victimizes World's Minorities

Kuwait bans import of live sheep from Somalia

Ban Ki-Moon Urges Immediate Cessation of Hostilities in Somalia

Horn of Africa much safer now: Premier

Remarks by Vice President Cheney to the Republican Jewish Coalition Leadership

China defends Darfur stance after French politician’s remarks

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

Eritrea Creates A Second Somalia Government In Eritrea

After 4 Years Of War, Congress Should Cut The Funds

Somalia/ Somaliland: Territory, State And Nation

The World Of Modern Child Slavery

Uganda Commander in Somalia Urges Speedy Deployment of More Troops

Food for thought

Opinions

Rayale’s Impeachment Is Inevitable

Mr. President, Back Off From Your Self-Defeating Mission: And Reform Your Leadership and Administration

Challenge In The Red Sea

Ungovernable Somalia and the imminent collision of hegemonic interests

My Response To The Gov. Response To Petition 'Somaliland'

Obstacles to peace in somalia- unchallencgeable certainties

A Reply to Cabdale Faarah Sigad's Report on the detained Haatuf Journalists

Petition For Impeachment Of Dahir Rayale Kahin


EDITORIAL

The sentencing of 18 butchers (10 of whom are women) to 6 months in prison for demonstrating against the city’s doubling of Hargeysa abattoir fees is just one more example that shows the intolerable condition of Somaliland’s justice system. By taking one draconian action after another, it is as if the government wants to convince the people that there is no such thing as justice in Somaliland. Strong words, you might say, but not really, when you consider that the sentences were handed by the Hargeysa Region’s Security Committee, a body that both Somaliland’s current and previous parliaments have said is an illegal entity. But what makes the absurdity of the situation stark clear is that Mayor Hussein Mohammed Jir’ir whom the protestors were demonstrating against, actually serves on this committee. So, we have a situation where the mayor in his capacity as a member of the security committee, acted as a judge, and sent to jail people that he had conflict with in his work as a mayor. Moreover, neither the mayor nor the rest of Hargeysa’s security committee are lawyers by training. Most of them actually have military or police background as can be seen from this list of the Security Committee members: 1. Ali Hasan Mahamed "Ali Asad" (Governor of Hargeysa). 2. Hussen Mahamud Jir’ir (Mayor of Hargeysa). 3. Adan Guun (the Commander of the police section). 4. The Commander of the military’s 31'st sector. 5. Ise Muuse (Commander of the central prison). 6. Adan Aw Ali (Commissioner of the CID). In effect, the Security Committee is making important decisions in matters for which it has no qualifications. Not only that, but some of the members of this committee, especially its chairman, Ali Asad, have a well-established reputation for corruption.

With a situation like this, one would think that the judiciary would be the first to object to the existence of the security committees. But until now, not a word of disapproval has come down from the judicial establishment. Hargeysa regional court judge Faysal Abdillahi Ismail did recently clash with one of the members of this committee (Saleebaan Muuse), which resulted in the latter’s dismissal from his position as head of the CID, but as much as we applaud the judge’s stand against the illegal practices of the former intelligence chief, this is an exception to the general tenor of Judge Faysal’s record which has been mostly on the side of injustice. Furthermore, the dispute between the CID and Judge Faysal Abdillahi Ismail was not about the legality of the security committee but about a different issue.

The judiciary’s accommodating stance toward the security committees who have usurped their prerogatives might seem baffling to some. But on closer examination, it is not that difficult to explain. Somaliland’s judges, especially the ones at the top, such as the Supreme Court, do not see their job as safeguarding the rule of law and dispensing justice, but rather, as serving those in power. If one follows this logic, then as far as they are concerned, it does not matter whether it is they (the judges) who hand down the sentences or some illiterate soldier or corrupt governor in the security committee. The sentence would be the same regardless who hands it down, because it was ordered by the same powers that be. In order to object to this scandalous system, judges would have to have principles, or at least some professional pride. Unfortunately, Somaliland’s highest judges have neither, and we end up with security committees.

Source: Somaliland Times


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