12 April 2013

Djiboutian Opposition Spokesman Released From Prison

Djiboutian opposition party Union for National Salvation (USN) spokesman Daher Ahmed Farah was released from jail on Thursday (April 11th) after he had been sentenced in March to two months in jail without parole.

Farah was accused of disrupting public order and of calling for rebellion following the disputed February 2013 parliamentary elections. He was released after his sentence was reduced to one month after an appeal in the country's supreme court. Fourteen members of the opposition coalition have also been released.

Farah, who spent nine years in exile in Belgium, returned to Djibouti on January 13th for the elections. He has been arrested on several occasions.

"The release is a good thing, but we will keep fighting until all political prisoners are freed," said USN General Secretary Abdourahman Mohamed Guelleh.

Guelleh said that many USN leaders incarcerated in Gabode prison are there illegally. "They need to be released immediately," he said.

Last month, clerics Abdirahman Bashir, Abdirahman God and Guirreh Meidal were sentenced to one year and six months in prison for inciting violence and vandalism during the protests after the February 22nd legislative elections. Since their conviction was confirmed on April 4th, they have begun a hunger strike.

Opposition leaders have urged its supporters to protest the detentions on Friday.

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