Krekar banished to Trøndelag village

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Oslo Police plan to send Mullah Krekar, the former refugee who turned into a threat to national security, to the small community of Kyrksæterøra in the county of Sør-Trøndelag when he’s released from prison later this week. Krekar’s attorney Brynjar Meling raised immediate objections.

Mullah Krekar at the press conference with foreign correspondents in Oslo in June. PHOTO: Views and News

Mullah Krekar at a press conference with foreign correspondents in Oslo that set off his current round of legal problems. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund

“This is clearly something Krekar can’t accept,” Meling told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) after the controversial Muslim cleric’s fate was made public Tuesday afternoon. “Being moved so far from his family (in Oslo) is such an infringement that we will take this to court.”

Norwegian authorities are using a new law to restrict Krekar’s movements pending his deportation back to Northern Iraq. The deportation has been constantly delayed because the government has failed to gain assurances that Krekar won’t be tortured or executed in his homeland, which he initially fled only to return as a guerrilla leader in violation of the terms of his asylum in Norway.

Krekar later issued a series of threats not least against Erna Solberg before she became prime minister. Even though he has now served his prison term for making the threats, the authorities maintain they can continue to monitor and restrict Krekar’s movements since he’s still officially declared a threat to “fundamental national interests.”

Krekar has thus been ordered to move to the Jarlen asylum center in the municipality of Hemne that encompasses Kyrksæterøra. He will not be allowed to move outside the municipality’s borders and must report his whereabouts to the local police three times a week. Local Mayor Ståle Vaag of the Labour party said his community was ready to take in Krekar: “If the (conservative) government doesn’t dare have him in Oslo, we’ll take the public responsibility they don’t dare to take.”

Meling dismissed the resettlement order as nonsense, saying it wouldn’t have any effect on Krekar’s activities because he spreads his messages via the Internet. Meling claimed it thus doesn’t matter where Krekar actually lives, because he can still reach his followers. The government apparently has no means of preventing him from using the Internet.

Kyrksæterøra, which has 2,500 residents, was chosen based on criteria issues by Norway’s police intelligence unit PST, which wanted to distance Krekar from Islamic followers. The village is located about a 90-minute drive southwest of Trondheim.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund