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Dear Mr. President: Please Release My Father!
By Hibo Mohammed Omer Sh. Ibrahim
I am writing to you as I am convinced that the illegal arrest and the appalling verdict against the Haatuf journalist not only undermines efforts to bring international recognition to Somaliland but also exposes the instability of the current judicial system.
As the daughter of Mohammed Omar Sheikh Ibrahim, one of the journalists that has been imprisoned for “defaming the good name” of the President I feel that I have a right to express my opinion about this matter. My father, who exercised his life long dream in journalism for more than 30 years, has I feel established himself as a credible journalist and should not be punished for doing his job. Having studied A level Media studies and Law I feel that I have some knowledge of what is meant by a successful judicial system as well as the importance of freedom of speech.
I believe every citizen has a right to a fair trial involving an impartial judge and lawyers at each end. However this is a right that I felt was stripped from my father and the other journalists who were simply exercising their right to freely express their opinions. You must remember Mr. President that these journalists are still human beings who have families including wives and children, who look up to them and who depend on them for their livelihood. Therefore removing these journalists from their families and their loved ones would be a harmful punishment that none of us human beings deserve. This, Mr. President is something that you yourself being a family man should understand.
I am deeply saddened and overwhelmed by the fact that my father has been severely mistreated by the court system and I believe that he should not have to spend the next two years in prison for merely expressing his opinion. My auntie (my father’s wife) was shattered by the news that her husband has to serve time in prison and my brothers and sisters because they are still young, don’t understand why their father had to be taken away, whilst my grandmother still cannot come to terms with the fact that her oldest son is locked up by the leader who promised a civilized and peaceful country. This mistreatment of vulnerable civilians is what is expected of dictators and I don’t think that this is what you are Mr. President, thus I urge you to please release my father and the other journalists as I feel that they have been severely punished already and this I believe they do not deserve.
This matter stretches further than the simple imprisonment of a few journalists Mr President, this is a world wide issue that has been covered by many of the well recognised and successful Countries that exist and flourish today, and one of the main reasons they have been able to flourish is the right that has been given to their citizens and the media to express their opinions freely.
The media is a very important tool, which should be taken advantage of, as some of these developments did not exist in the past and in order to move our country forward, as the leader, one must try to find ways to hear what the people of the country want, and not try to silence them.
Freedom of speech is the most vital political right of citizens and without it no political action or resistance to injustice and oppression is possible. Without, freedom of speech elections would have no meaning at all. It is also important to the government because it gives them the opportunity to answer unfair comments and criticisms about their actions. This happens when the public, however, freely expresses criticisms when the government tries to restrict freedom of speech, rumours and unfair criticism are spread by word of mouth and these kinds of falsehoods and rumours have a tendency to circulate through the country. The government then has no opportunity to answer these views and its critics or the opportunity to correct its mistakes, as these views are not publicly stated. This therefore means that this right of freedom of speech is in the interest of the government as it gives them a chance to answer back to their critics and help citizens understand from both their points of view, rather than just one.
Therefore I urge you once again Mr. President to release my father as well as the other journalists. This I feel would not only restore the public’s faith in the judicial system but it will also enhance the few steps Somaliland has for building international recognition, never mind the peace of mind that my family would have once my father returns home
Thank you very much
You’re sincerely Hibo Mohammed Omer Sh. Ibrahim
In support of HIBO’s Appeal
Dear Mr. President.
It is our customary to say that “Gabadh Ooyday waa Ceeb oo laga Gardaranyahay”, in other words, “No Woman No Cry”.
Hence, WE; the undersigned members of the Awdal Community in the UK, hereby supporting Hibo’s Appeal to you Mr. President. We certainly do not wish to see HIBO cry anymore for the release of her beloved father Mr. Mohammed Omar. Think Mr. President, if anything bad happens to you (God Forbid) how badly your lovely children will cry for you. We are asking you kindly Mr. President, to consider her appeal on moral, dignity and compassion grounds. Release Mr. Mohammed Omar Sh Ibrahim and his colleagues at ONCE:
Many thanks Mr. Uncle President. !
Nabad iyo Caano
Source: Abdiqani Ateyeh
In support of Hibo Mohamed Omar's appeal to President Rayale
We Awdal Diaspora community in the UK support Hibo Mohamed Omar's passionate appeal to President Rayale to release her father and his colleagues. Many of us disagree with Haatuf and their attack on the President and his family. However we request from the President to pay attention to Hibo's appeal and release her father and his colleagues." Mr. President we trust your judgment so far but its time for you to consider our concerns and to free Mahamed Omar and his colleagues.
Following names are the signatures of this appeal.
And many others who their names are not included here at moment