On 21 January, police in Hargeisa, Somaliland arrested Mohamed and Hamdi and their new born baby. The same day an Ethiopian woman, Aster, was taken into custody.
Police searched Mohammed and Hamdi’s house the following day. Besides confiscating material belonging to the couple, they arrested Hamdi A, a woman living with Mohamed and Hamdi. All four, and the baby, remain in police custody.
On 25 January they were brought before a judge and informed they are suspected of spreading Christianity. At a 10 February court appearance they were told the investigation period is being extended. (The law allows the prosecutor up to 45 days from the day of arrest to finish his investigation and file charges.)
Their lawyer says all were in good health and being treated well on his initial visit, but since then he has been denied access, despite a verbal complaint and assurances from the public prosecutor’s office.
In September 2020 another Christian couple was arrested and later deported to Somalia.
Somali Christians request prayer:
- That the detainees will experience God’s closeness and strength – and be released soon
- For the Christian community who are feeling vulnerable, with these arrests coming after similar events last year
- For wisdom for the Somali church leadership in how to respond
- For strength, wisdom and boldness for the lawyer and that he will be allowed to visit his clients.