B O S A S O P O L IC E
M I S C O N D U C T
Evidences of police brutality and excessive force
Grievances Against Bosaso Police Misconduct *
September 28, 2005
As we are talking now, someone, somewhere in an African country is being thrown into prison cell, being beaten up, tortured or being interrogated on trumped up charges. Hundreds more up and down the continent are being subjected to other forms of inhuman treatment in the hands of the police, army or secret police .
Comment made by a member of an NGO at the eleventh session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) held in Tunis, Tunisia.
Sheekh Aduun, director of the Bossasso radio affiliate of the private STN network, and Awale Jama, an editor at the station, were freed yesterday without charge, according to STN director Omar Nur Guutale in Mogadishu. They had been jailed since June 30 in connection with the station's reporting on the mayoral campaign in Bossasso, according to local sources .
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Press Release,
New York, July 13, 2005.
Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of human Rights states that “[n]o one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment .”
When decisions are made to protect the public, strategies (i.e. means to an end) are consciously or unconsciously employed. In the case of policing and handling the safety of the public, the end is the improvement of the security force’s capability to accomplish its goals. The selection of the strategy generally involves the establishment of a series of ends, means and priorities.
We know that policing is a complicated issue, by the fact that Somalia is in the midst of civil wars, and sometimes the police itself produces conflict or pursues ambitious goals that cannot be attained. However, there are two objectives which all security related institutions serve:
The first objective is the maintenance of law and order – handling disputes, a family quarrel, and a street disturbance by teenagers etc. The second objective is law enforcement – the use of legal sanctions, usually by means of arrest, to individuals who harm/threaten or deprive innocent victims.
Nevertheless, Bosaso Regional State Security Forces have lately known not to perform their tasks satisfactorily. Numerous Puntland media have recently directed criticism at the police. All of their criticisms are well known and often valid, but Puntland administration is frequently ignoring the conditions that are giving rise to these criticisms. The Administration, for example, is frequently charged for hiring unqualified policemen who suppress or manipulate crime reports and more importantly use improper or illegal procedures, including torturing detainees. The answer to why all these criticisms are true to some extent lies to two explanations: Torture seen as a social control mode; and what we call “Duur-joog” theme – both is complementing each other.
Afflictions in Detention Centers
To control masses that have been bad-administered is not an easy task. As scholar Matthew Lippman observes, “The major function of torture today is its use by many regimes lacking popular support who desire to inculcate a climate of fear and political apathy in the general population .” In addition, “Torture may also be used to incapacitate an individual psychologically or physically and thereby render the individual politically ineffective .”
Although explanations vary, the variations of bad-policing theme in Bosaso can be summed up as “Duur-joog” who find their way into the police work through nepotism, and clan-affiliation. “Duur-joog” refers here to un-qualified, unintelligent, clan-oriented, rude, brutal, intolerant, or insensitive men. “Duur-joog” recruits enjoy expressing their prejudices and crudeness in the name of the law. Not only do “Duur-joog” fail to do the right thing/prevent crime, they systematically take pleasure in to do the wrong thing/actually cause crime .
Danbiyo kala duwan oo aan jirin islamarkaasna qof bini'aadam ah aan loo qaban ayay maxaabiistaasi ku xiranyihiin mudo sanado ah iyo Bilo markii aad weydiisana waxay kuu sheegayaan ina ay yihiin(rumaan) ama maxkamed suge oo sharcigiisu yahay in uu xabsiga ku xirnaado 45 casho.
Xiligii aan maxaabiistaasi wada joognay oo ay ogaadeen in aan ka mid ahay saxaafadda waxay intooda badan igula dardaarmeen in aan tacadiyada haysta dadka u soo bandhigo.
Waxaa dhibaatooyinka haysta ka mid ah cunto xumo, daawo la’aan, iyo qaarkood oo qaba cudurada faafa sida TB-da, Malaria, Cholera, iyo waliba aneebiya ama dhiig la’aanta oo dhammaantood ay la ildaran yihiin .
[*] This article was originally posted on Biyokulule Online in September 28, 2005.
 Brian Moyo, “Visions of Brutality,” West Africa, 30 March-5 April (1992):542.
 Committee to Protect Journalist, “Two Puntland Journalists Freed, But Harassment Continues,” Press Release (New York, July 13, 2005). http://allafrica.com/stories/200507140633.html.
 See also International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 7; U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, Article 31.
 Matthew Lippman, “The Protection of Universal Human Rights: The problem of torture,” Universal Human Rights, Vol. 1, No. 4 (Oct., 1979): pp. 30.
 Matthew Lippman, “The Protection of Universal Human Rights: The problem of torture,” Universal Human Rights, Vol. 1, No. 4 (Oct., 1979): pp.29-30.
 See various Somali websites on police misconduct in Bossaaso in September 03, 2005:
 See Biyokulule news, July17, 2005: http://www.biyokulule.com/taaran.htm.
Bosaso: Artillery men in action