Somaliland Frees Poetess Naima After Bihi Pardon
Somaliland poet and activist Naima Ahmed Qorane has been released from jail after President Abdi Muse Bihi pardoned her following a plea from the family, Radio Dalsan reports.
Naima had spent 22 days in her 3 years jail term at Gibiley Prison following her sentence in April 15.
Earlier in an interview with a local tv station Naima’s father said he had personally appealed to President Bihi to seek the release of her daughter.
“The President had pledged in our meeting that he will pardon her and secure her release. as as possible” the father said
“He did not give us the exact day of her release but promised to be as soon as possible.I dont know if he will honor his pledge but that is what he promised” he said.
By mid-day Monday a tweet by the Director Of Human Rights Center Somaliland Guled Jama broke the news of the release.
The family says the poet’s health had deteriorated in the last 20 days.
A court in the Marodi-jeh Regional court found her guilty of “Anti-national activity of a citizen and bringing the nation or state in contempt”.
The poet known for her Somali unity sentiments was jailed on April 15 after her arrest on January 27 upon her return to her native Somaliland after visiting Mogadishu.
Ahmed through her poetry has been a vocal advocate of “Somali Unity” and “The Greater Somalia” agenda.
Somaliland has clamped down on any persons campaigning against what it terms “Somaliland sovereignty”. In February 2017 journalist and blogger AbdiMalik Muse Oldoon was arrested upon returning from meeting Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo.
Mohamed Kayse Mohamud an author who wrote a book in praise of Somalia president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo was also arrested this year.
Somaliland declared its independence in 1991 following the fall of the Siad Barre regime but it has remained unrecognized by the international community.