VP/HR — Arbitrary detention in Djibouti
Question for written answer E-002948/2012
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Fiorello Provera (EFD)
On 12 March 2012, the World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) reported that on 5 February 2012, Mr Abdallah Mohamed Youssouf, a 21-year-old Djibouti villager from the Mablas region, was arrested by the National Djibouti Army in a sweeping operation. Afterwards he was taken to a military barracks in Obock district, where he was detained and tortured. Youssouf was accused of having links to the Front pour la Restauration de L’Unité et la Democratie (FRUD). FRUD is a political party, linked to the interests of the Afar people, which in 1991 launched a rebellion against the Issa-dominated government.
Mr Youssouf is believed to have suffered torture, such as multiple beatings and forced ingestion of soap and water. On 8 February 2012, Youssouf was transferred to the Research and Documentation Division (SRD) of the Gendarmerie in the capital city Djibouti. At the moment, he has no access to either a lawyer or his family. He also continues to suffer abuse and sleep deprivation. Lately, in the Djibouti region of Mablas, there has been a wave of arbitrary arrests of suspected FRUD rebels.
The insurgent movement FRUD is based in the north of the country, which is home to the ethnic Afar people. It was the low representation of the Afar people in the parliament which prompted the country’s civil war in 1991.
1. Is the Vice-President/High Representative aware of the arbitrary detentions carried out by the Djibouti National Army?
2. Is the Vice-President/High Representative prepared to call on the Djiboutian authorities to release Mr Youssouf, after having first granted him access to legal representation, medical care and the right to see his family?
3. In light of this report, is the Vice-President/High Representative prepared to discuss with the President of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, the activities of the Djibouti National Army and the recent cases of human rights abuses?
4. Has this issue been raised in the past and, if so, what were some of the outcomes?
OJ C 117 E, 24/04/2013