By Enrique Tessieri
Migrant Tales was surprised Thursday evening to get a message from the brother of the Somali victim who died tragically in Oulu, Finland, this week after trying to flee from three people who barged into his home with a metal pipe. At the most, the three suspects will be charged with manslaughter (kuolemantuottamus).
The incident touches a sensitive nerve of the immigrant and Somali community, the fourth largest in Finland. Even if what happened was not a hate crime, according to the police, it brings out the despair, futility and muffled outrage of some Somalis who live in this country.
If the victim’s tragic death, whom his brother calls Abdirashid, can shed light on the plight of Somalis in Finland and the hardships they face, the better.
By writing about what happened in Oulu we are showing respect to the Somali community. Their sadness has a voice in Finland even if many would like to drown it with colorblind arguments.
It should be also mentioned that sensible Finns are just as saddened by what happened as some members of the Somali community.
Abdirashid’s big brother, Jirde, sent the following letter* to Migrant Tales and a picture of the victim:
Jirde’s two brothers. The baby is Abdirashid.
My little brother was born in Ethiopia in a refugee camp to the second wife of my father in 1989. During the civil war between the Siad Barre regime and northerners [of Somaliland], my brother was taken to Dijibouti to be treated for rubella by my father’s first wife [Jirde’s mother].
I am the eldest brother [of a large family]. We contacted all the physicians in Dijibouti [to treat my brother]. We had to go to Europe. My brother had lost his sight due to cataracts. We managed to get him to Germany. His big brother, who lived at the time in Paris [, France], and with the assistance of God and Germany, the operation on his eyes was successful.
Four months [after the operation] and after the end of the war [against Siad Barre] my father requested the government of Germany to return his family to the country [Somalia]. My little brother [Abdirashid] returned…
We request this great nation of civilized people to do justice for my little brother.
Signed: Mr. Jirde, the big brother.
*The letter has been edited.