SOMALIA: NORWEGIAN CITIZEN SENTENCED TO DEATH IN SOMALILAND
November 19, 2020:
Norwegian citizen Saad Jidre on 18 November 2020 was sentenced to death in Hargeisa District Court in the self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland. (Sources: Time24, 18/11/2020)
“It is difficult to see greater violations of human rights than what our client here has been exposed to. He is torn out of the prison cell and driven with a military escort to a judge. Without prior notice, and without a lawyer present, he was sentenced to death”, says lawyer John Christian Elden, who together with lawyer Farid Bouras assists the 54-year-old.
“We have been in contact with Jidre’s lawyer in Somaliland, Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamoud, and we will now try to appeal the verdict to a higher court,” says Farid Bouras.
Lawyers Elden and Bouras have also been in contact with Somaliland’s Minister of Justice, Mustafa Mahamud Ali, and tried to explain that Saad Jidre is the victim of a conspiracy.
“It is completely unheard of and a complete scandal, that a court sentences our client to death for premeditated murder. Saad Jidre was attacked for no reason, and he defended himself before he managed to get to safety”, says aid lawyer Bouras.
“The man whom Saad Jidre is now convicted of killing, died several hours after he allegedly attacked Jidre. No evidence has been presented that documents that the basket case between Jidre and the deceased had anything to do with the death, says development assistance lawyer Bouras”.
“The problem is that the deceased comes from a wealthy and influential family in Hargeisa. Our experience is that his family has put pressure on, and used their contacts to get Saad Jidre convicted”, the lawyer tells Dagbladet.
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 4 April, 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.