A Norwegian delegation visited 54-year-old Saad Jidre Hayd in Hargeisa. The Norwegian has been in the pirate prison since April, sentenced to death for premeditated murder. He himself denies criminal guilt.
The trip was kept secret for security reasons. Now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is telling for the first time about the days in Somaliland.
– I can confirm that the embassy in Nairobi visited the Norwegian citizen in prison this weekend, says communications manager Trude Måseide.
– There were two representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide consular assistance to the Norwegian who is imprisoned and to be able to have meetings.
– Who were they talking to down there?
– They met with the president, the Supreme Court justice and of course the most important thing; the Norwegian citizen who is in prison.
There were employees from the embassy in Nairobi, which is the nearest Norwegian foreign service mission, and representatives from Oslo in place in Hargeisa.
– We have been concerned that we should be able to do the job in an area that is a bit demanding to work in. Therefore, we were concerned that the information about the meeting should not come out in advance.
– Does it have anything to do with the security situation in Somaliland?
– Yes, and an overall assessment of the situation.
– I have been told that they will come here
NRK has been aware that a Norwegian delegation will visit the Norwegian sentenced to death. On 23 November, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Somaliland confirmed the visit plans from a Norwegian delegation to NRK.
“I have been told that they will come here, and I will facilitate their visit here in Somaliland,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Liban Yusuf.
He said there had been talks between the embassy in Kenya and the president of Somaliland. Norway expressed a desire to meet the father of the family from Oslo, who is in the partly Norwegian-financed prison in the capital.
– Norway and Somaliland have a long and good relationship. Norway has contributed to the development of Somaliland and it happens that they are here to visit to nurture the relationship between the parties.
– This time it will be natural to talk about the Norwegian in prison, Yusuf told NRK.
Norway pressured the authorities in Somaliland
In mid-November, 54-year-old Saad Jidre Hayd was sentenced to death for poisoning in Somaliland. The man denies criminal guilt and believes he acted in self-defense.
The execution with shots was planned for Saturday 21 November, but was postponed after the Norwegian’s lawyer spoke to the foreign minister in the self-proclaimed republic.
Through the embassy in Nairobi, the Norwegian authorities have provided consular assistance to the Norwegian, but after the death sentence became clear, they have put further pressure on the authorities in the self-proclaimed republic. Among other things, through direct talks with the President of Somaliland, and by calling in the breakaway republic’s representative in Norway for talks.
– We gave a clear message about two things: one was that the death penalty must not be served, and the other is that the death row inmate must have access to ordinary legal proceedings, said Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide to NRK at the time.
– Are you still afraid that he may be executed?
– We are always worried when Norwegians are sentenced to death. Then it is often a confusing, very difficult situation, and I have a great understanding that this situation is difficult for both the family and the Norwegian, the Foreign Minister added.
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