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Published On: Sat, Sep 21st, 2019

Somaliland Lawyers Association calls on the government to protect the rights of defense lawyers

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Press statement

Hargeisa(ANN)-Somaliland Lawyers Association (SOLLA) is deeply concerned by recurrent complaints raised by defense lawyers in Somaliland, who report incidents of harassment, intimidation and unfair treatment.

Defense lawyers are not allowed to meet their clients in detention centers and the police refuse to disclose evidence. These actions make a difficult defense team to provide proper and effective legal representations. Additionally, lawyers report harassment and unfair treatment during their work. 

According to article 27(1) of the Constitution of Somaliland, “any person who is deprived of his liberty has a right to meet as soon as possible his legal representative.”

Yet, Somaliland lawyers are not allowed to meet their clients in police stations and they continue to face huge obstacles in defending citizens whose rights have been violated.

Very few lawyers are working on politically sensitive cases.

Lawyers have a right to exercise their professional responsibilities in true independence and they should not be subjected to pressures. According to Principle 16 of the Basic Principle on the Role of Lawyers, “Governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference.” According to the African Commission, “the right to defence as guaranteed by Article 7(1)(c) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights was violated in a case where two defense teams had been “harassed into quitting the defence of the accused persons”.

We call on judges, prosecutors and police officers to respect the work of defence lawyers, treat them with dignity, and allow them to perform their work without pressure. We call on relevant authorities to eliminate all obstacles and allow defence lawyers to perform their tasks without hindrance.

Jamaal Hussein Ahmed(Mandeela)

Secretary General

Somaliland Lawyers Association (SOLLA)

About the Author

- Arraale Mohamoud Jama Freelance Journalist and Human Rights Activist Arraale, is a 20 year experience as a professional Journalist and human rights activist Over the years, worked for the major News Papers in Somaliland as a reporter, editor and contributor. 2008 established website Araweelo News Network, he currently runs a web site based in Somaliland. who is the specializes in the investigation and reporting on issues relating to human rights, democracy, and good governance. contact: Info@araweelonews.com jaamac132@gmail.com Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 WhatsApp + 252 65 910 7347.

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Araweelo is an Associated Network News, The most trusted source for news & Political,investigator report,Human Rights Issues,Educations,Social and Democracy ,Latest News Horn of Africa. runs Arraale Mohamoud Jama Freelance Journalist and Human Rights Activist based in Somaliland.

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