Security forces in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, arrested musician Farhan Hidig (Farxaan Xidig) in late June 2016 due to him visiting Mogadishu and remains in custody, according to Freemuse sources.
According to local media sources the musician was arrested in connection to his political activity. Somaliland authorities have not commented yet on Hidig’s arrest.
While not a member of any political party, Hidig has recently announced he will run for office in Somalia’s federal parliament when elections are held later in the year. This will be the first parliamentary election to take place in Somalia since 1967.
Veteran Somali singer Mrs. Hibo Nuura has called for her fellow musician’s release.
This is not the first time musicians have been arrested in Somaliland for their visits and performances in Mogadishu. In 2015 five musicians were arrested and later released for their visits to Mogadishu.
Freemuse has received information that there has been an increasing trend in censoring musicians in Somaliland, using them as political bargaining chips through restricting their travels in Somalia. Somaliland has been a self-declared state, though internationally unrecognised, since 1991 and has distanced itself from Somalia as it is seen as a threat to their independence as long as it retains cultural unity with the country.
Photo from Twitter
» Puntland Mirror – 3 July 2016:
Somaliland security forces arrest Somali musician
» Maareg Media – 3 July 2016:
Farhan Hidig arrested in Hargeisa
» Midmino Information Centre – 3 July 2016:
Hargeisa: Farhan Hidig arrested
More from Freemuse
» 1 October 2015: Somalia: Regional court orders four singers released from custody
» 29 September 2015: Somalia: Four musicians reportedly arrested
» 4 August 2015: Somalia: Musician released after one day in detention