Friday, March 13, 2009

Somaliland wants to send deportee back to Finland


Medeshi

Somaliland wants to send deportee back to Finland
HS International Edition main information source on the case for Somaliland ministry

Somaliland, a state set up in the north of war-torn Somalia, has sharply condemned Finland for deporting a Somali-born man convicted of numerous crimes in Finland to Somaliland early last month.
(Photo: Minister Mohamed Osman (left) examines the map of Somaliland in his office in Hargeisa. )
“Somaliland is no camping area”, said Mohamed Osman, Somaliland’s Minister of Return Migration and Reconstruction to Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday. “Finland should apologise to us and take the man back.”
Finnish police escorted the man to Dubai, where they placed him on a plane to Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, on February 9th, along with a temporary alien’s passport.
The ministry in Hargeisa learned about this action, and other deportation decisions made by Finland by reading the International Edition of Helsingin Sanomat on the Internet. Osman said that Finnish officials had not been in contact with Somaliland over the issue.
“In our view, the man has been smuggled into Somaliland. We cannot accept this.” Osman says that his ministry has approached Finland, and many other countries, hoping to cooperate on issues of asylum and deportation.
The country has already agreed on cooperation with Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, and The Netherlands.
Osman says that Finland has not reacted to his government’s attempts at contact. “Finnish officials have not responded to us in any way. We interpret this as hostility toward us, and are very disappointed.”
Officials of Somaliland allowed the deportee into the country, because he had no police escort, and he could not be sent back with them.
Osman says that the deportee made a mistake when he boarded a connecting flight in neighbouring Djibouti.
He was ordered to leave Somaliland with his temporary passport, and go to Ethiopia, which has a Finnish Embassy.
Osman says that the man was given a document by the ministry declaring that his presence in Somaliland was unlawful. The deportee’s lawyer has submitted the document to both Finnish officials and the media.
Officials at the Somaliland ministry were especially shocked at how Jorma Vuorio, the director-general of the Finnish Immigration Service, commented on the document given to the deportee. They read his comments to Helsingin Sanomat on the Internet.
Vuorio voiced suspicions that the document was a forgery. "It is possible to get just about any forged document you care to name in Somaliland. Anyone can get hold of anything from there, even a passport if required", he said.
“The statement indicates a total lack of diplomacy, as well as ignorance of Somaliland. We would expect a person in such a high position not to make such statements”, the Somaliland minister said.
In the news story, Vuorio did not believe that the man was in danger of being deported from Somaliland.
“This person [Vuorio] supports chaos and anarchy. He violates the fundamental human rights of the deportee”, the minister told Helsingin Sanomat.
Officials at the ministry were surprised to hear that the deportee is still in Hargeisa. His alien’s passport is no longer in force, and the ministry assumed that he had stayed in Ethiopia.
“We will put out a warrant for him. If the police find him, we will have to consider what to do. It might be possible to send him to Somalia, from where he could come by land to Somaliland, in which case he would be classified as a refugee.”
“He is a criminal. If he continues this kind of behaviour, he is in danger of losing his life. We have lost 100,000 people in a civil war. Perhaps Finland has lived in peace for so long that people there do not understand what it is like to come from a war zone.”
More on this subject: Interior Ministry: “The guy is there, and that’s that”

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