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Somali Justice Minister Admits Challenges in Legal System As Jowhar Family Demands Release Of Kin
Africa

Somali Justice Minister Admits Challenges in Legal System As Jowhar Family Demands Release Of Kin

Somali Minister of Justice Hassan Hussein Haji on Sunday admitted that reforms were needed to improve the court system in the country following numerous complaints from the public. Minister Haji acknowledged that the majority of Somalia’s population is poor and could not afford legal fees consequently denying many to seek justice “An accused person has a right to be represented by a lawyer and the Ministry is trying its best to negotiate with the UNDP and other organizations in order to get and pay legal assistance,” said Haji. The Minister's remarks come in the wake of public outcry over lack of access to justice by the mostly poor majority. Radio Dalsan has been investigating a case of a 21-year-old resident of Jowhar who has been denied his legal rights and locked up for almost two years without legal representation. Mahdi Abdulkadir was arrested in August 2016 after he was accused of stealing from his employer a Khat dealer in Jowhar, the administrative capital of Hirshabelle. In a letter dated 29th August 2017 from the Attorney General, the commander of the Jowhar Police station Aden Aanjeh is ordered to release Mahdi. “The commander of the Jowhar Police Station is directed to issue a written explanation on the reasons that forced the illegal detention of the named young man whose complain has reached this office,” the letter said. “We request from the regional court and that of the court of appeal of the Middle Shabelle to submit to us anything that they know about the continued illegal detention of the young man in Jowhar Districts Police station” the Attorney General. “He is my firstborn son. I want justice for my son. We have been denied justice because we are a poor community and have no connection. The complainant had a connection to the police that is why my son is locked up. The police should respect the Attorney General and release my son” Jamilla Hussein told Radio Dalsan. Mrs Hussein is now seeking intervention from President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo. Early this month Jowhar police station detained RTN TV journalist Abdirashid Shaashaa for 15 days but later released him under public pressure.