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Londoner Arrested In Hargeysa For Holding Community Development Meeting
Hargeysa, Somaliland, May 10, 2008 (SL Times) – A Briton named Hamse Osman Haji Ali was arrested in Hargeysa on Tuesday for inviting residents of his neighbourhood to a meeting intended to discuss community development.
Britain born Hamse arrived in Hargeysa 8 months ago to develop a small business in the Senai area.
He said about fifty police officers came to arrest him without telling why was being apprehended.
After he was brought to Hargeysa central police station, Hamse was interrogated by no other than Abdillahi Fadal, the number 3 man in the police hierarchy.
The police were apparently suspicious that the meeting could be politically-motivated.
Riyale relies on Fadal and his boss Saqadhi Dubad for cracking down on KULMIYE party activists and journalists who criticize the regime.
However Hamse was unable to understand why the police would be so bothered by a community meeting that was planned to primarily discuss severe water shortages being experienced in the neighborhood.
“I told them that the letter showed the venue address and that I called local residents to meet to discuss matters concerning the community such as the water crisis and sanitation with the purpose of finding solutions for them” Hamse told the Somaliland Times.
Police commissioner Saqadhi also asked Hamse some questions.
“I told him that I was trying to organize people to undertake interventions for addressing their problems such water, health and unemployment” he added.
Commissioner Saqadhi seemed as though he was impressed by what Hamse told him. But Hamse who established a small cinema in the locality, can’t understand why he hasn’t yet been released.
“The Commissioner told me that I haven’t done anything wrong but I can’t understand why he is still keeping me behind bars” Hamse concluded.
Another naturalized British citizen who was arrested on April 26, 2008 still remains in police custody at the Hargeysa central police station.
The detainee in question was driving on the evening of April 26 when a military soldier who fired on him shot dead a 20 year old woman passenger travelling in the front seat of his car.
The soldier has never been arrested. The woman was identified as Hani Hassan Jama.
The driver of the vehicle remains in police custody. He was charged on Tuesday by a military tribunal of being responsible for the death of Hani Hassan for refusing to stop at a military checkpoint.
The man responded by saying that he believed he was the victim of an assassination attempt and that he saw no checkpoint but was fired on by gunmen who were hiding behind trees.
Asked why they should allow the military to try a civilian, a police officer who requested anonymity replied by saying that the police is too weak to challenge the military.
Source: Somaliland Times