Sister bids to save man from death penalty
Mentally ill brother to face firing squad
THE Hillingdon-based sister of a mentally ill man sentenced to death in Somaliland is fighting to save his life.
Abdullahi Ali, 38, was handed a death sentence in August for the manslaughter of a friend of his in the region of Las-Anod, in Somaliland, in April last year.
The father of nine had been suffering from mental illness with psychotic symptoms for about five years prior to him fatally shooting his victim.
Abdullahi’s UK-based sister, Faisa Ali, is fighting to save her brother from being executed by a firing squad.
The 27-year-old has appealed to the President of Somaliland, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo, to intervene in the case.
She said: “They are well aware of his mental condition but have refused to look at his medical documents and the death by firing squad is still going ahead.
“I’m absolutely devastated that a person who has been proven mentally ill and doesn’t know what he’s doing has been sentenced to death.
“This is a crime against humanity and is just unacceptable.”
According to Faisa, her brother was in prison for more than a year before he was charged and sentenced. He could not take any of his medication in the prison, so he had trouble sleeping and had been fighting with prison guards.
Faisa appealed against the court’s ruling at the start of September, showing medical files and records proving her brother’s mental illness to the Supreme Court in Hergeisa but it was disregarded.
Faisa has had no other option but to turn to the media in hopes that her brother’s case and plea will be brought to the attention of her country’s president.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have both expressed concerns about the treatment of Abdullahi.
Faisa said that this case with her brother has brought to light how discriminated mentally ill people in Somaliland are in terms of the law and wants to help.
She added: “I feel that I should advocate for mentally ill people in Somaliland because they have no voice or anyone to speak to.”
Somaliland resumed the death penalty after a nineyear hiatus this year, executing six prisoners by firing squad.
An Amnesty spokesman said: “The use of the death penalty is always abhorrent as it is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. Amnesty opposes the death penalty at all times, regardless of who is accused, the crime, guilt or innocence or method of execution.”