Djibouti: Opponents of Dikhil arbitrarily detained since September 18, refused bail

Refus de remise liberté provisoire pour les opposants de Dikhil arbitrairement détenus depuis le 18 septembre

Alkarama and the Djiboutian Human Rights League (LDDH) reiterate their 22 September call on the Djiboutian authorities to release opposition members arrested by the police on 18 September 2015, during a peaceful demonstration in the southwestern city of Dikhil. Currently detained at the Gabode prison, these people had their bail request rejected by the prosecutor of Djibouti during their hearing on 27 September. The victims, detained for peacefully expressing their opinions, are denied the right to a lawyer, doctor and visits. They will appear again in court on 4 October 2015.

On 18 September 2015, around 11am, the police arrested 50 young members of the Union for National Salvation (USN) − the coalition of the political opposition in Djibouti − and the Opposition Youth Movement (MJO), including Abdoulkarim Djama Guedi, Hamze Reyeh Hassan, Yahye Elmi Younis et Mahamoud Robleh Miré. The victims had taken part in a peaceful demonstration in the streets of Dikhil in protest against the planned fourth term of current President Ismail Omar Guelleh. The same day, the authorities came to arrest Ibrahim Hassan Abdi, an elected member of the USN, and Said Ali Miguil, a USN responsible in Dikhil. Additionally, one of the premises of the USN in Dikhil was subject to a police search, during which various effects and materials were seized.

After being kept several days in unlawful custody by the gendarmerie, the majority of opponents were released on 21 and 22 September 2015. Frah Ali Ismael, Mahado Jano, Yusuf Ali Ismael and Kadir Ali Ismael were among these. During their detention, they were neither able to be in contact with a lawyer, nor to see their families, while others reported having been abused. The six previously mentioned victims, for their part, were brought before the prosecutor of Djibouti on 22 September and taken into custody at the Gabode prison. They appeared before the Court on 27 September and were charged for "illegal demonstration".

Still deprived of their right to see a lawyer and receive visitors during their detention, the Court eventually referred the case to 4 October 2015. The bail applications filed by their lawyer and president of the LDDH, Mr. Zakaria Abdillahi Ali, were denied, despite the fact that his clients do not pose any threat to public order in Djibouti. They therefore remain detained at the Gabode prison without being able to see their families cannot visit, simply for having expressed their opinions and showed support for the political opposition in Djibouti.

Following on their call, on 22 september, to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to peaceful assembly and association (RS RPA), asking the Djiboutian authorities to release Abdulkarim Djama Guedi, Reyeh Hamze Hassan, Yahye Elmi Younis, Mahamoud Robleh Miré, Ibrahim Hassan Abdi and Said Ali Miguil, whereas Alkarama and the LDDH reiterate their call for their release. Alkarama and the LDDH also call on the authorities to end the ongoing harassment of political opponents in Djibouti and to ensure democratic and pluralistic dialogue in the country.

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