Human rights defender
Guleid is the founder and head of a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) based in Somalia, which works for the protection, promotion and realization of human rights and focuses on the documentation and monitoring of human rights violations. More specifically, the organisations activities concentrate on arbitrary detentions, sexual and gender based violence, freedom of expression, discrimination, the death penalty, trial rights, police impunity, minorities, corruption and political rights. Their work involves advocacy and lobbying as well as monitoring.
After years of war Somaliland unilaterally declared its independence in 1991 from the Federal Republic of Somalia. Compared to the rest of Somalia, the self-declared Republic of Somaliland enjoys a relative degree of stability. Clan structures dominate Somaliland’s current governance. Political parties representing regions or clans are forbidden, but party and clan affiliations often coincide. Opposition parties are tolerated, but individuals lack the ability to criticize the authorities without reprisal. Freedoms of assembly and association are constitutionally guaranteed, but demonstrations are occasionally repressed. Although functional courts exist in Somaliland, government officials often intervene to influence cases. Government security forces still arbitrarily arrest and detain persons, often accusing them of terrorism. The current government has also arrested journalists this year, in particular those who report on corruption.
In April 2015, Guleid was detained for 19 days without trial, after he condemned government executions of six people in Somaliland. He was released thanks to pressure from the international community. However, during his arrest the government spread propaganda about him intended to turn the general public against him. As a result of this he receives numerous threats by religious fundamentalists. As the founder and head of one of Somaliland’s few independent human rights monitoring organizations, Guleid believes he needs to connect Somaliland with the outside world. Broadening his network and meeting new organisations can contribute to this.
Artikel in Observant Online – “Somaliland’s constitution is beautiful, but mostly theoretical”