Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council
at its 166th session (Amman, 6 May 2000)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Referring to the outline of the case of Mr. Ahmed Boulaleh Barreh, Mr. Ali Mahamade Houmed and Mr. Moumin Bahdon Farah of Djibouti, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/166/16(c)­R.1), and to the relevant resolution adopted at its 165th session (October 1999),

Taking note of the information and observations provided by the Djibouti delegation to the 103rd Conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Recalling the following information on file:

  • Their immunity having been lifted, Mr. Boulaleh Barreh, Mr. Mahamade Houmed and Mr. Bahdon Farah were found guilty on 7 August 1996 of insulting the President of the Republic and sentenced to six months' imprisonment, a fine and five years deprivation of their civic rights; that they were consequently unable to participate in the parliamentary elections of December 1995 and the presidential elections of April 1999;
  • Their trial went ahead despite a Constitutional Court ruling of 31 July 1996 that the lifting of their parliamentary immunity had been flawed;
  • Mr. Bahdon Farah, a former Minister of Justice, has since been prosecuted on charges of misappropriation of seized goods, for retaining a stolen object and for involvement in an alleged coup d'état; that in the latter case he and Mr. Mahamade Houmed were found guilty on 12 September 1996 of “inciting disobedience in the armed forces with a view to harming the national defence” (Article 157 of the Penal Code) and sentenced to one year's imprisonment, suspended, two years on probation and a fine of one million Djibouti francs; furthermore, Mr. Bahdon Farah's passport has reportedly been unlawfully confiscated,

Recalling that the Djibouti delegation to the 102nd Conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (October 1999) invited the IPU to send an on-site mission to Djibouti to ascertain the situation directly,

Noting that, before the mission was due to leave, two favourable developments occurred, namely (a) on 19 January 2000 the Criminal Appeal Division of the Djibouti Court of Appeal annulled the judgment referred to above, taking the view that “the charges laid against the accused have not been substantiated in their regard” and (b) the Government and the armed rebellion signed a Framework Peace Agreement on 7 February 2000, thus opening up the prospect of further satisfactory developments in this case; that, consequently, the Committee decided to adjourn the mission pending detailed information about the Agreement and its possible effects on the situation of the former MPs concerned,

Considering that, according to the Djibouti delegation to the 103rd Conference, the Peace Agreement has been concluded between the Government and the rebellion, with the result that the relevant amnesty law adopted by the National Assembly concerns only those having taken part in the rebellion,

Bearing in mind that, in its Article III entitled “Of Democracy”, the Peace Agreement affirms that there is no viable Republic without democracy and no democracy without a balance of power, plurality of opinion, freedom to express opinions and the right to act in their furtherance,

  1. Thanks the President of the National Assembly once again for the invitation extended to the IPU to send an on-site mission regarding these cases; also thanks the Djibouti delegation for the information and observations it provided;
  2. Is gratified to learn of the acquittal of Mr. Bahdon Farah and Mr. Mahamade Houmed and of the conclusion
  3. of the Framework Peace Agreement; considers, in the light of this development, that a mission is no longer appropriate;
  4. Notes that the relevant amnesty adopted by Parliament concerns only those who took part in the rebellion; believes that, given the spirit expressed in the Peace Agreement, it would also be fitting to extend the amnesty to former members of Parliament whose attacks on the authorities have been
  5. purely verbal;
  6. Calls on the National Assembly to consider the adoption of such a measure, which would simply be a further demonstration of the prevailing spirit of reconciliation;
  7. Requests the Secretary General to convey this decision to the President of the Republic and the President of the National Assembly;
  8. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session (October 2000), in the hope that by then it will have been notified of such a development.

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