Djibouti must stop Harassment of Human right activists.
Afar Action Alliance (February 19, 2011) we have contacted Amnesty International regarding the situation with Mr. Jean Paul Noel Abdi in Djibouti.
Amnesty International responded that they are already aware of the situation and condemn the detainment of these activists. We then faxed a letter to Michael Posner at The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. We also sent an e-mail to Ben Rawlence of the East Africa and the Horn of Africa Human Rights Watch and a fax to the Human Rights Watch office in New York.
We continue to denounce all injustices to human rights workers and demand immediate release of Jean Paul Noel Abdi and all others detained. The letters and e-mails are presented below.
The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor February 10, 2011
Assistant Secretary Michael H. Posner
US Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Honorable Assistant Secretary Michael:
We, Afar Action Alliance, are a member of the Afar community in the U.S. and around the world with the goal to advance justice and democracy and equal rights for the Afar people, and other communities as well living in Djibouti.
As you well know, yesterday (February 9, 2010), Mr. Jean Paul Noel, President of the Human Rights League in Djibouti as well as another 8 prominent activists were detained at their homes by Djibouti police. They were taken to the sinister Gabode prison in Djibouti. They are presently being held incommunicado detention and have no access to legal counsel. The corrupt government officials continue to detain activists, but now even the president of the Human Rights League, has been thrown in prison for undeclared reasons. As elections are eminent in April 8th of this year, one can only believe that his detainment is in direct correlation to the upcoming pre-election events.
The Djibouti president, Ismail Omar Guelleh, has recently manipulated the Constitution to allow the head of state to seek a third term. Guelleh succeeded his uncle in 1999; His uncle was in power since June of 1977. This has thus been an authoritarian regime for many, many years.
Having now manipulated the Constitution, human right activists in Djibouti fear that this is yet another step to further stifle their dissident voices.
Honorable secretary, please intervene with Djibouti authorities and ask them to firstly, guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Jean Paul Noel Abdi as well as those other activists who were detained, and secondly, to immediately and unconditionally release Jean Paul and the other.
Lastly and as importantly, we ask you to help END all forms of harassment against all human rights defenders in Djibouti. They must be able to freely, and without interference, exercise their professions and carry out their activities in defense of human rights.
President of Afar Action Alliance (AAA)
P.O BOX 582143
Minneapolis, MN 55458