Somali female poet freed after Somaliland presidential pardon

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

Somali Poet, Naema Ahmed Ibrahim was released from Prison on Monday by Somaliland authorities after receiving a pardon from President Muse Bihi Abdi.

Ibrahim was arrested in January this year and charged with bringing the country into contempt over her poetry that advocated Somali unity.

The director of Somaliland Human Rights Centre based in Hargeisa, Guleid Ahmed Jama confirmed the release saying she was released on a Presidential pardon.

“I am glad that poet Naema Ahmed Ibrahim has been released on a Presidential pardon,”

He has expressed his dismay over the verdict of the court, insisting her constitutional right of freedom of speech was violated.

“She should not have been arrested in the first place. Freedom of speech is protected by the constitution and international human rights law,”

Last month, a court in Hargeisa found Ibrahim guilty and sentenced her to three years in prison.

Somaliland declared independence in 1991 after  Somalia’s central government was toppled by rebels.

Despite its relative stability, the region has not yet been recognized by the international community.