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HomeEditorialDr. Abdirahman Kulmiye: Unfairly Convicted and Detained in Somaliland.

Dr. Abdirahman Kulmiye: Unfairly Convicted and Detained in Somaliland.

Renowned hydrobiologist and fisheries specialist Dr. Abdirahman Jama Kulmiye, known for his extensive career across the United Nations, international organizations, and both public and private sectors, visited Hargeisa, Somaliland, on December 7th, 2023, as part of his advisory duties with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). His trip aimed to provide training in his field of expertise, focusing on fisheries. Dr. Kulmiye, a Somali-native Australian citizen, arrived in Somaliland fully compliant with all legal requirements, holding a valid visa and Entry Permit Number 1220234965, along with Visa Number VS0038411.

The arrival of Dr. Kulmiye in Hargeisa on December 7th, 2023, turned into a nightmare as he was apprehended and detained without standard immigration procedures. He was taken into custody by plain-clothed individuals and held in a remote location before being transferred to the main prison in Hargeisa, where he remained under questionable circumstances. Despite his civilian status, he has faced a trail in a military court, a move seen as inappropriate.

Efforts to secure his release have been met with resistance, despite support from his family, colleagues, international organizations, and the Australian government.

Dr. Kulmiye, who currently serves as a senior advisor to the FAO, was detained at Cigaal Airport, Hargeisa while en route to the FAO meeting in Somalia. Despite FOA efforts to release, yet does not issued a public statement regarding his detention by the Muse Bihi Administration of Somaliland. The FAO is under scrutiny for alleged lack of effort and silence in the public eye for the past five months.

The military court’s verdict in January 2024 wrongly convicted Dr. Kulmiye of illegal entry, sentencing him to one year in prison, despite clear evidence of his lawful entry with a valid visa. Charges of espionage had already been dropped.

The verdict, criticized for its false interpretation of immigration laws, has drawn condemnation from human rights activists and scholars worldwide. Calls for Dr. Kulmiye’s immediate and unconditional release have intensified, highlighting the injustice of his detention and the dangerous precedent it sets for professionals seeking to contribute to Somali society.

Despite widespread calls for action, both the Federal Government and Dr. Kulmiye’s home state of Puntland have remained silent on his illegal sentence.

The campaign for Dr. Kulmiye’s release continues, urging the President of Somaliland Muse Bihi Abdi and law enforcement agencies to uphold principles of justice and human dignity. The international community is called upon to unite in support of Dr. Kulmiye’s freedom, rejecting the unlawful detention of scholar’s dedicated to knowledge dissemination.




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