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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hillingdon - Somaliland family fight to save man sentenced to death

Faisa Ali is urging the President of Somaliland to intervene and stop her brother - who is mentally ill - from being executed by firing squad.
Faisia Ali from Hillingdon is doing all she can to stop the death penalty imposed on her brother in Somaliland



(Get West London)- The sister of a mentally ill man sentenced to death in Somaliland is fighting to save his life.

Abdullahi Ali, 38, was sentenced to death in August for shooting and killing a man in the region of Las-Anod, in Somaliland, in April last year.
Father-of-nine, Abdullahi had been suffering from mental illness with psychotic symptoms for around five years prior, his family claims.

His mental illness leads him to being violent and angry.

On April 6 2014, after a stay at a mental health hospital, he was involved in the shooting and killing of his friend, following a dispute.

He was arrested by authorities and kept in prison for a year until he was charged with manslaughter and sentenced to death by firing squad in August this year.

His sister, Faisa Ali, from Hillingdon, has taken the case to the Supreme Court in Hergeisa and is urging for him to be released.

“We are appealing against the death penalty imposed on him in this crime against humanity.

“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."

According to Faisa, Abdullahi was in prison for over a year before he was charged and sentenced.

“He couldn't take any of his medication in the prison, so he has been awake all day and night fighting with prison guards," she said.

The 27-year-old is appealing to the President of Somaliland, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo, to intervene and stop the death penalty from being enforced on her brother.

Abdullahi was sentenced to death at the regional courts in Las-Anod in August and Faisa said she appealed against the ruling at the start of September, showing medical files and records proving her brother's mental illness, but it was disregarded.

“They didn't even look at it and he is still sentenced to death, not even accepting his medical records,” she told getwestlondon.

Her next step was to appeal to the supreme court in Hergeisa but said she received a similar response.

“This was the final step, I contacted the chief executive of the Supreme Court, who said they would agree with the regional court's ruling.”
Faisa says she now has 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 in an attempt to stop the death sentence.

“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," she said.

“This is a crime against humanity and is just unacceptable, please save my brother.”

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have both expressed concerns about the treatment of Abdullahi.

Faisa said that this case has brought to light how much discrimination there is facing mentally ill people in Somaliland.

“I want to advocate for people with mental illness in Somaliland after being forced to help my brother," 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 nine-year hiatus this year, executing six prisoners by firing squad.

In a statement in April, the Heads of Mission of the European Union and Member States said: "The EU Heads of Mission deplore this grave backlash after nine years of suspended executions and urge Somaliland authorities to rethink its decision to leave the progressive path followed so far.

“The EU Heads of Mission call upon the Somaliland authorities to immediately halt the execution of death sentences as a first step towards adopting appropriate legislation, which aims at the abolition of the death penalty.”

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."