Norwegian citizen sentenced to death –

Saad Jidre (54) was sentenced to death in Somaliland on Wednesday. Jidre’s family in Norway was notified today that he will be executed by firing squad on Saturday.

– It was the family who received a message from the capital Hargeisa, that the father will be executed on Saturday, says Saad Jidre’s Norwegian development assistance lawyer, Farid Bouras in the law firm Elden.

Bouras has today sent an e-mail to Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide. In the e-mail, he asks the Norwegian government to do what they can to stop a possible execution of Saad Jidre, who has been a Norwegian citizen since 1995.

Informs the President

– I have been in direct contact with Foreign Minister Yasin Haji Mohamoud in Somaliland. On the phone this afternoon, the foreign minister confirmed that he knows the case, Farid Bouras told Dagbladet.

– He was not aware that Saad Jidre would be executed now, and promised that he would inform the president of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abidi about the case. At the same time, the foreign minister assured that Saad Jidre will have his appeal processed, says aid lawyer Farid Bouras.


FEAR: Aid lawyer Farid Bouras fears for Saad Jidre’s life. Photo: The law firm Elden
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Unsure

Despite Foreign Minister Mohamoud almost guaranteeing that Saad Jidre will not be shot on Saturday, Farid Bouras is unsure of what is happening in Somaliland.

– Somaliland is a self-proclaimed breakaway republic, and a society where the clans rule. We now hope that Saad Jidre will be able to appeal the death sentence in a higher court, and that the Norwegian authorities will use their influence to pressure the authorities in Somaliland, says Bouras.

Earlier today, the assistance lawyer was in telephone contact with Saad Jidre.


Norwegian citizen sentenced to death

Tired and scared

– He is very tired and scared. He fears that he will be shot on Saturday, Farid Bouras told Dagbladet.

– Saad Jidre is also ill and needs medication.

– We are now doing what we can to stop a possible execution. Hopefully, the Somaliland authorities will let Saad Jidre’s appeal be heard by a higher court. The problem is that we do not know what is happening down there, and whether the authorities have control and prevent an execution, says Farid Bouras.

The 54-year-old local lawyer in Somaliland, Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamoud, was not allowed to be present when the judge on Wednesday morning handed down the death sentence. The lawyer is now working with the Norwegian assistance lawyers Farid Bouras and John Christian Elden to prevent Saad Jidre from being executed on Saturday.

“Innocent”

Dagbladet spoke on the phone with Saad Jidre in June this year. Two months after he was arrested and charged with killing a younger man in Hargeisa, Somaliland. He then explained:

– I was on holiday in Somaliland. At 21 o’clock on April 4 this year was on his way home. Without warning, I was attacked by a man. He kicked and punched, while I tried to protect myself.


PRISON: Here in such a prison cell in Hargeisa in Somaliland, sits the condemned Norwegian citizen Saad Jidre. He shares a cell with 16 other men. Photo: Tony Karumba / AFP Photo
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Saad Jidre emphasized several times to Dagbladet that he was innocent of killing someone, even though he admitted that he had been in a fight with the deceased.

– I was attacked, and defended myself, Jidre said in the telephone interview.

Assistance lawyer Farid Bouras also fears for Jidre’s safety in the Hargeisa prison.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is calling in

– He has previously been tried for poisoning in prison. He is sitting in a cell with 16 other men, says Bouras.

– The Foreign Service is aware that a Norwegian citizen has been sentenced to death in Hargeisa and we are following the case through several tracks, both here in Oslo and through the embassy, ​​says press spokesperson Ragnhild Simenstad at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


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Our embassy in Nairobi provides consular assistance in line with a fixed framework. The embassy has had regular contact with the family and their Norwegian and local lawyers. The embassy has also raised the matter with local authorities, Simenstad says.

– We have a great understanding that this is difficult, for both the imprisoned Norwegian and his family. In cases where Norwegian citizens are sentenced to death, the Norwegian authorities will engage in requesting that the sentence not be served. This is in line with the Norwegian authorities’ global commitment to the death penalty, says Simenstad.

– We will therefore call in a representative of Somaliland in Norway to a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as soon as possible, says press spokesperson Ragnhild Simenstad at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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