Poet-activist sentenced to three years in prison

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

Somali poet and activist Naema Abwan Qorane was sentenced by to three years in prison by a Hargeisa court on Sunday.

Qorane was arrested in late January by Immigration police at Egal airport in Hargeisa, Somaliland. She was reportedly due to depart to Mogadishu when she was detained.

She was subsequently charged by Somaliland authorities with “bringing the Nation or the State into Contempt”.

Naema had been living in Mogadishu for some time and is a self-professed supporter of Somali-unity. Naema, an accomplished poet who was featured in the 2017 edition of TedXMogadishu who’s poems and speeches support the unification of Somalia.

Her lawyers say that she was denied a fair trail.

Human rights activists have denounced her arrest, describing her as a ‘prisoner of conscience’.

The government of Somaliland have been actively supressing people who rail against what they call “Somaliland sovereignty”. Abdimalik Oldon, a journalist who has also expressed support for Somali unification has charged with similar offeneces. He spent several months in jail before he was released after President Silanyo Pardoned him.

Source: Hol