I have listened to the verses narrated by Mr Abees at the event held in Maansoor Hotel in Hargiesa on Thursday 10 January 2019. It is obvious that after returning from 15 years refugee life in the UK, the poet was shocked by the poor conditions and inhumane treatment of inmates in Hargiesa police stations.
On the one hand, Mr Abees was obviously inadvertently comparing Hargeisa police cadre with the one in London or Birmingham – the two are not comparable outright. We should look at the different background of the policemen in the streets of Hargeisa and London: The civic culture of the two people, the levels of education, the level of training, the income disparity, the levels of job security, pension schemes etc.
The poet Abees deserves the Golden Medal for Literature rather than sending him to jail for meaningfully criticizing the poor treatment conditions in the Somaliland Police stations
On top of that, the shocking stories that the artist has narrated regarding the poor conditions of Hargiesa police stations are reflection of the norms of city life in this part of the world. These are the product of the absence of civility in the vast majority of our population and the accepted norms of abuse and negligence at the police stations and every other public and private institutions – the phenomenon is not confined to the police only. This behavior is totally unacceptable and should be dealt with swiftly without further delay.
Finally, I am of the opinion that at Mr Abees deserves to be awarded the highest Literary Golden Medals and should not have been sent to jail for meaningfully criticising the poor state of the Somaliland Police stations. The beautiful piece of literature that he composed should have been adopted as part of police training lectures and guidelines on how our police should think vs their people.
After all, poems are obviously the best media to communicate with the vast majority of our oral society, and particularly the police who are mostly not adequately educated.
Hassan Abdi Yussuf
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia