Respect the Right to Protest Peacefully
On Wednesday, March 09, the Djiboutian Minister of the Interior announced to the opposition that any demonstration is prohibited which intends to overthrow the regime. This is, in his view, inconsistent with the expression of a pacific challenge.
The President of Djibouti in a BBC Somali interview applauded the recent demonstrations in Egypt by saying that peaceful protest is commendable as long as there is no violence. However, by clamping down on his own country’s voices, on his own people seeking only peaceful protest, his hypocrisy is unacceptable.
The world is now witnessing that the Djibouti regime is denying the same fundamental rights it continues to applaud elsewhere in the Middle East.
We, Afar Alliance, support the rights of the people to protest, picket, demonstrate and make their voices heard no matter how ill-informed, prejudiced, and muddle-headed.
As we have said on many occasions, we support peaceful acts of protest as long as there is no violence.
However, there is a distinction between the freedom to protest and the hate-filled activities of those who deny freedom to others. Every citizen has the right to free speech and to peaceful protest.