Krekar ‘can’t be sent to the gallows’

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He wore out his welcome in Norway long ago, after violating the terms of the asylum he was granted and causing repeated offense, but Norwegian officials confirmed this week that they can’t deport the controversial Mullah Krekar. That’s because they’ve failed to obtain assurances that he won’t be executed upon a return to  his homeland in northern Iraq.

Mullah Krekar pleading his case before reporters in Oslo last year. PHOTO: Nina Berglund

“We can’t send a man to the gallows,” conceded a frustrated Siv Jensen, head of Norway’s most conservative party Fremskrittspartiet (Frp), which has been keen to send Krekar out of the country for years.

Politicians on all ends of the political spectrum also want to carry out the deportation order upheld by a Norwegian court after Krekar was deemed a threat to national security in Norway. A senior government official in charge of immigration issues, State Secretry Pål Lønseth of the Labour Party, traveled to Northern Iraq earlier this month to discuss Krekar’s situation.

Once there, however, Lønseth was told by local authorities that Krekar “will be indicted for terrorism and convicted,” and that Krekar would be executed.

Krekar himself said earlier this year that he wanted to return to home, but only if he’d be assured he wouldn’t be convicted to death and executed. Such a guarantee now seems unattainable.

That means Krekar likely will remain in Norway for the foreseeable future. His travel documents have been confiscated and no other country has been willing to take him in.

Krekar remains under legal threat of indictment and jail, however, after being charged with making threats and inciting terrorist acts. Jensen has long argued that he should be held in custody.

She stressed that her party, like all others, respects international agreements and agrees that Krekar can’t be sent back to Northern Iraq now. “But while we wait for a responsible and secure return, he should sit in custody here in Norway,” Jensen told website VG Nett. He now lives at a protected address, after being the target of an alleged assassination attempt last year.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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