Arrested for Asking Government to Help Somaliland-born Immigrants ‘Suffering’ in Libya

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The very disciplined but stoically determined group of women epitomized how African mothers all over the continent, but mostly in the Horn of Africa, were desperately crying for help to free their misled, miscalculating kids held in underground dungeons in Libya for ransom by human traffickers.

They carried placards and flex banners on which the purpose of their peaceful demonstration was printed. They were a somber group of mothers and sisters. There was not a pebble to throw among them all.

The thirty or so women who came out to the streets of Hargeisa, Wednesday, showed their sorrow. They showed it on their faces. They showed it with their silent tears running down the cheeks of some of them. They showed in the heavy shuffle of their feet. They showed it on the band tied around their headscarves.

But, above all. they spelled it out on the words they carried.

The banners read “Youth suffering in Libyan dungeons” on the title.

“We ask anyone who can help whether in the country or outside of it that we join hands to bring out the young people, who have nobody looking out for them, suffering in Libyan dungeons (detention ‘centers’),” the banners’ content cried out.

Suddenly, everything changed.

Police officers surrounded them and dragged them off to the nearest police station where they were thrown behind bars ‘for disturbing the peace’.

If anything, eyewitnesses stated, it was a gross show of intolerance on the part of the police forces.

The administration in Mogadishu was not one not to capitalize the situation. It quickly posted that, heeding the Hargeisa mothers’ call, its  one Qmbassadir Fiqi was working on the situation and was hopeful to soon suucceed in the endeavour. The Ambassador said they expected to, in fact, send the afore-detained immigrants home on May 5 with the support of IOM.

The Constitution of Somaliland guarantees citizens the right to express concern by peaceful means which include peaceful demonstrations.

The central government maintained silence on the incident neither defending nor deploring the police action.

There are those, however, who contend that the Wednesday administration was part of orchestrated actitivities designed to train a dismal, unflattering light on Hargeisa in regard to human rights.

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