Somaliland: Government Assures Temporary Stay of Execution for Norwegian Sentenced to Death

Somaliland: Government Assures Stay of Execution for Norwegian Sentenced to Death
Norwegian Saad Jidre fears that he can be executed at any time

Somalilandsun: The government of Somaliland has made a stay of execution for a Norwegian citizen sentenced to death in Hargeisa.

After several months, 54-year-old Saad Jidre from Oslo was sentenced to death for premeditated murder in Hargeisa District Court in the Republic of Somaliland last Wednesday

Subsequently his family in Oslo was informed that he will be executed by shooting on Saturday (Today) but a stay of execution was granted after pursuit by his Norwegian lawyer Farid Bouras.

This assurance came from the Foreign Minister Prof Yasin Haji Mahmoud Faraton following email contact with lawyer Bouras

Minister Faraton also promised that the matter would be taken up with the Somaliland president Muse Bihi Abdi.

“The authorities in Somaliland do not intend to take any action at this time. He is safe in our custody, the foreign minister assured. But anything can happen in Somaliland. As long as I do not have a written presidential order, I must continue to work,” Bouras said.

Somaliland: Government Assures Stay of Execution for Norwegian Sentenced to Death
The stay of execution was assured by Somaliland Foreign Minister Prof Yasin Haji Mahmoud Faraton assured Norwegian Lawyer Farid Bouras

The prosecuting authority in Somaliland believed that the Norwegian citizen had deliberately killed a younger man. Jidre, who has been a Norwegian citizen for the past 25 years, and has an address in Oslo, has a completely different explanation than what the prosecution authority in Somaliland has assumed.

On the evening of April 4, at 9 pm, while I was on holiday in Somaliland, I was attacked without warning, Jidre told Dagbladet in a telephone interview from the prison in Hargeisa in June this year.

“Suddenly, without warning, I was attacked on the street. He kicked and punched, while I tried to protect myself. In the end, I managed to get a spray can, which I had bought at Clas Ohlson in Oslo. I thought it was pepper spray, but the small spray can is called defense spray and cost 159 kroner in the store. In the end, I got away and to safety, the 54-year-old told Dagbladet.

Together with the local lawyer in Somaliland, Bouras has worked closely with the Norwegian embassy in Kenya, which is side-accredited to Somaliland.

According to newspaper Dagbladet, his family was notified on Thursday that he would be executed by shooting on Saturday.

“The family who received a message from the capital Hargeisa that the father would be executed on Saturday,” the man’s Norwegian lawyer Farid Bouras confirmed.

The lawyer sent an email to Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide  asking the Norwegian government to do what they can to stop a possible execution.

The lawyer for the Norwegian who risks being executed in Somaliland has received assurance from the country’s Foreign Minister that it will not happen immediately.

The lawyer says that the Norwegian embassy in Nairobi has provided good consular assistance in the case but that there is an urgent need for further help from the Norwegian authorities.

“We will convene a representative of Somaliland in Norway for a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as soon as possible,” the ministry’s spokesperson Ragnhild Simenstad noted.

While the Somaliland judiciary is independent of the executive the constitution grants president powers to commute sentence or pardon a convict.