DJIBOUTI, May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
During his visit to London last week Djibouti President, Ismail Omar Guelleh told the BBC that there were no political prisoners in his country.
The Union for National Salvation (USN), the coalition of opposition parties in Djibouti, argues that there are more than 600 political prisoners in Djibouti.
The Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (IFHR) and the Djiboutian League of Human Rights (LDDH) have called upon the international community; in particular the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the League of Arab States, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, to condemn the human rights violations committed by the Djiboutian authorities and contribute to a political solution to the current crisis.
A spokesman for the British Foreign Office said: "We want to see an improvement on human rights in Djibouti."
USN's chief diplomat Abdurahman Boreh, in several interviews to the BBC in English, Somali and French services, urged President Guelleh to end the harassment of opposition leaders and their supporters.
In a recent report "Human Rights in Djibouti", commissioned by "Friends of Djibouti", the author, a British MP, Sir Tony Baldry, argues that "there is sufficient evidence to refer Djibouti's President, Ismail Omar Guelleh, to the International Criminal Court for undertaking, permitting, allowing or sanctioning crimes against international law".
Guelleh's family has been in power for 36 years. The current leader is the nephew of Hassan Gould Aptidon, the first president of Djibouti after independence in 1977. President Ismail Omar Guelleh was re-elected in 2005, when the opposition parties boycotted the election.
In April 2005, immediately after his re-election, Guelleh told the French newspaper Le Monde that he would not support a constitutional change allowing him to serve beyond his second term.
According to the Djiboutian League of Human Rights (LDDH) and the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (IFHR), at least 90 people have been arrested and detained at Gabode central prison in Djibouti since February 22 parliamentary elections.
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SOURCE Union for National Salvation (USN)