Sis­ter bids to save man from death penalty

Men­tally ill brother to face fir­ing squad

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - by Nathan Spen­de­low nathan.spen­de­low@trin­i­tymir­

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.”

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