Medeshi Feb 17, 2009
Somali deportee says Somaliland refuses to let him stay
Finland sends Somali citizen to home country for first time in years
A Somali citizen who was deported by Finnish officials to Somaliland in the north of the country, says that officials there are not allowing him to remain. Finnish police were not able to confirm or deny the claim on Monday.
The man, about 25 years of age, had been convicted of a number of crimes, and was sent to Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, a week ago on Monday. The expulsion was kept out of the media.
The deportation was the first from Finland to Somalia since November 2004.
Police escorted the man from Finland to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, from where he was flown to Hargeisa without a police escort.
Since then, the deportee has made several calls to his Finnish lawyer Pekka Kivi, and said that officials there will not let him stay. Helsingin Sanomat was also able to contact the deportee.
“I am not welcome here. I will be arrested if I stay in Hargeisa. I am outside the city waiting for official papers to indicate that I am not allowed to stay here”, he told Helsingin Sanomat on Monday.
“I have built a shelter for myself out of trees and leaves. I only drink water and I try to find food”, he said, describing his conditions.
There appeared to be some confirmation of the situation on Monday afternoon, when the deportee’s lawyer got an e-mail sent in the name of the Somaliland administration.
The e-mail pointed out that the deportee cannot stay in Somaliland, because he was born in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. Somaliland does not consider itself part of the same state as the rest of Somalia.
Kivi considers the e-mail to be a genuine letter of the ministry. He passed it on to Finnish police and the Supreme Administrative Court, which confirmed the call for deportation before Christmas.
The deportee was advised by his lawyer to go to a Finnish diplomatic mission. The closest one is in the Ethiopian capital Addis Abeba.
Juha Holopainen of the foreigners’ unit of the Helsinki Police heard about the claims on Monday.
“We have not heard any information that there would have been problems in entering the country. I consider it unlikely.”
“He was allowed on board the plane as normal, and we have not heard that he would have been turned away from Hargeisa.”
Holopainen notes that it is difficult to confirm the matter, because Finland does not have a diplomatic mission in Somalia.
Previously in HS International Edition:
International Organization for Migration denies having taken stand on deportation of Somalis (28.1.2009) Remorseful Somali man awaiting deportation fears return to former home country (9.1.2009) -->