President ‘bribed’ family of schizophrenic man who died in African jail
PUBLISHED: 14:45 14 March 2013 | UPDATED: 14:45 14 March 2013
The family of a schizophrenic man who died in an African jail last year say they refused bribes offered to stop them asking about the circumstances of his death.
Abdullahi Ibrahim died in prison in Somaliland last November – but his family remain in the dark about what happened during his final hours.
They even persuaded foreign secretary William Hague to raise the issue with Somaliland’s president during a meeting in February.
Mr Ibrahim had been visiting family in the semi-autonomous region of Somalia from his home in Woodstock Terrace, Poplar, when he ran out of medication.
The 43-year-old – described by his family as a “very ill man” - ran over a police officer while driving. He was found dead in police custody hours before his trial.
His daughter Khadra Ibrahim said: “We keep hoping something good is going to happen and we will get justice for him but it just keeps coming back.
“It’s ridiculous. He died in a cell so how can you not know who did it?”
The 26-year-old Bow resident claims the president of Somaliland offered cash to stop them asking about Mr Ibrahim’s death.
She said: “They keep saying ‘take the money’ to my family.
“We don’t want money – it defeats everything we have been trying to find out. It doesn’t feel right.”
The 26-year-old has been liaising with the Foreign Office since her father’s death on November. She hopes Somaliland officials will release his death certificate and details of his post mortem.
The British government recently warned British nationals not to travel to Somaliland.
A spokeswoman said: “We have called for a full and transparent investigation and will follow up for conclusions of that investigation.
“Whatever information we receive we will share directly with the family”, she added.
In the mean time, Ms Ibrahim says she will continue her quest for answers about how her father died in prison that night.