Hundreds of Norwegians lit torches and quietly marched through the streets of Oslo Tuesday evening, ending up at the Foreign Ministry where they appealed for justice following the murder of a young Norwegian woman in London last year.
It’s been 18 months since the body of Martine Vik Magnussen was found in the cellar of a fashionable apartment building in London. Magnussen, from an affluent family west of Oslo, had been a student in London and was last seen leaving a nightclub with another fellow student, a wealthy young man from Yemen.
British police believe she later was raped and strangled by her fellow student, Farouk Abdulhak, who disappeared the next day and was found to have flown back to Yemen. Police in London and Oslo believe he remains in hiding there and able to avoid facing charges in the murder case, because neither Norway nor the UK have an extradition agreement with Yemen. Investigators believe he’s being protected by his father, Shaher Abdulhak, one of Yemen’s wealthiest men.
Mobilizing for justice
Now Magnussen’s family in Norway, along with a wide network of friends and acquaintances both in Norway and abroad, have mobilized in an effort to demonstrate their frustration over the lack of justice in the murder case. They want Farouk Abdulhak brought into a court of law and held responsible for his alleged actions.
“We will never give up, and we will never forget Martine,” friend Hedda Homme told newspaper Aftenposten . “Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre says he has done what he can, but he must do more. Use the USA, Obama, the EU, and file charges at the international court in The Hague.”
Magnussen’s parents said they were overwhelmed by the show of support for their murdered daughter. “This case is all about universal values and human rights, themes that Norway uses to profile itself overseas,” her father Odd Petter Magnussen told Aftenposten . “Now the authorities must use these values to win a fair resolution of Martine’s murder.
“We don’t want revenge, just justice.”
Støre was in Geneva at a World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting on Tuesday and not present to receive the demonstrators, but promised he would review their petition. One of Støre’s advisers told Aftenposten the ministry is by no means finished with the case and will maintain pressure on “everyone” who can help get Abdulhak extradited to London. “We’re using all the channels we have available,” he said.