Somaliland detains two Canadian citizens in Hargeisa

Somaliland authorities arrested two Canadians in the administrative capital of the state, Hargeisa, Canada confirmed.

In an interview with CTV News, a Global Affairs spokesperson said Consular officials in Nairobi are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information.

“Consular services are being provided to the individuals,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson would not say more, citing the Privacy Act.

The Canadians were detained in the Koodbuur Station Women’s Prison in Hargeisa three months ago. Hargeisa is in the disputed region of Somaliland.

“The two Canadian women were attempting to use their own experiences of gender-based violence to intercede on behalf of a woman targeted with similar gender-based persecution, including torture and forced disappearance,” Jeremias of the New York-based arts collective The Price of Silence said in a press release.

 

The Canadian women were taken into custody along with a third woman who is a U.K. national, according to Jeremias.

“Days into their detention, at the onset of an arbitrary investigation, the women were coerced into signing confessions propounding that they had consumed alcohol, prohibited by law in Somalia/Somaliland,” he said.

Jeremias says one of the Canadians was ill with pneumonia but has since recovered.

“Price of Silence considers the women Gender Prisoner’s of Conscience and is calling on the Canadian government to more vigorously intermediate for the women’s release into protective custody and safe return to Canada,” he said.

The Canadian women were taken into custody along with a third woman who is a U.K. national, according to Jeremias.

“Days into their detention, at the onset of an arbitrary investigation, the women were coerced into signing confessions propounding that they had consumed alcohol, prohibited by law in Somalia/Somaliland,” he said.
Meanwhile, Somaliland authorities have not yet commented on the arrested of three women and their fate.

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