Abdihakim Guleid sits in the lounge in his rented residence unit in Etobicoke, lower than every week after coming back from Kenya and what he calls one of the crucial harrowing experiences of his life.
The unit is generally empty — void of any furnishings, except for a sofa, eating desk and a mattress nonetheless lined in plastic wrapping. Nevertheless it’s a welcomed change to the Kenyan jail cell he known as dwelling for greater than three weeks.
“I’m very joyful to be again dwelling and protected,” he stated, whereas his pregnant spouse and 5 kids — ages two to 9 — performed within the bed room.
“You are feeling scared,” stated Guleid about his expertise.
“You’re considering of your loved ones and also you don’t know what is going to occur. Though you’re harmless, they will do something they need. They will maintain you for years with out cost [and] that’s what I used to be frightened [about]. In 4 or 5 years, they will say to you, ‘You’re free, you may go now,’ after you’ve misplaced a lot time.”
Guleid was arrested in Nairobi, Kenya, in mid-January — in relation to an assault by armed gunmen at a resort complicated in Nairobi, that left 21 individuals lifeless.
WATCH: Social media video exhibits smoke rising from scene of Kenya resort assault (Jan. 15, 2019)
Masked gunmen, claiming to be a part of the Somalian militant group, Al-Shabaab, stormed into the DusitD2 compound on the afternoon of Jan. 15. Their siege lasted hours, ending Wednesday morning in any case 5 attackers had been “eradicated.”
In an unique interview with International Information, Guleid is now explaining his aspect of the story that received him listed as a suspect within the lethal assault.
Kenyan court docket paperwork present that Guleid was arrested as a result of he was allegedly utilizing a cellphone that obtained a name from one of many attackers.
However Guleid claims it was all a misunderstanding that started when he went to the Canadian embassy in Nairobi to submit some immigration paperwork on Tuesday, the day the assault began.
He claims that he left the paperwork within the taxi on the experience from his dwelling to the embassy — and when he tried to make use of his cellphone with a brief SIM card, he realized that he had left the passcode for the SIM card at dwelling.
“One younger man, I requested him if I can use his telephone and he stated, ‘OK, you should utilize it,’” stated Guleid. “I known as my spouse first, she didn’t reply. Then, I name the grocery man who delivered our meals each month and he despatched me the variety of our taxi driver. And that’s the one cause they arrested me.”
Guleid does’t consider he did something prison and believes he was focused as a result of he’s a Somalian in Kenya. He added that the person he borrowed the telephone from additionally didn’t appear suspicious.
“This man was regular, only a man such as you and me.”
Guleid claims Kenyan authorities barged into his dwelling that following Wednesday morning — and arrested him and not using a detailed rationalization.
“They simply got here to my dwelling they usually arrested me. They by no means advised me something. They simply took me to the police station,” stated Guleid. “I might by no means suppose one thing like that might occur to me.”
WATCH: Toronto man arrested in reference to Kenyan terror assault (January 2019)
Guleid appeared in court docket that Friday with 5 different individuals, suspected of serving to the attackers within the lethal siege. The fearful expression on his face, was shared extensively the world over and in his dwelling nation of Canada, the place he had lived for greater than 20 years.
Guleid is a Canadian citizen, however his spouse and youngsters reside in Nairobi. He stated he’s been travelling forwards and backwards between the 2 international locations for the previous decade to go to them.
However this previous 12 months, he stated his household had their Canadian everlasting residency accepted and he had deliberate a visit to Nairobi for 5 days to choose them up and convey them to their new dwelling in Toronto, earlier than he was arrested.
The decide ordered the suspects be held for 30 days, whereas Kenyan authorities examine the assault on the high-end purchasing and resort complicated.
Guleid stated all he may do was hope, whereas he sat in his jail cell.
“I knew I used to be harmless and that it was solely a matter of days earlier than I am going free,” stated Guleid.
“As a result of I do know, in the event you’re harmless, at some point you’re going to be free.”
Guleid stated he was in jail for a bit of over three weeks and, with the assistance of a lawyer, was launched Feb. eight. Court docket paperwork present that Guleid “may be launched unconditionally,” however didn’t additional element the reasoning behind his launch.
Guleid stated it took a few month to get his household’s paperwork and belongings so as earlier than flying to Canada, which is why they arrived to Toronto in early March.
WATCH: Brother of Canadian arrested in reference to Nairobi terror assault says household has employed lawyer (January 2019)
In response to detailed questions on Canada’s function in Guleid’s launch and why he was arrested, International Affairs Canada advised International Information that it “is conscious Canadian citizen arrested in Kenya has been launched and has returned to Canada. Canadian officers supplied consular providers to the person and his household.”
International Information reached out to Kenyan authorities and the Workplace of the Director of Public Prosecution however didn’t obtain a response in time for this story’s publication.
In the meantime, Guleid stated he simply hopes he can reside a traditional life from right here onward and is wanting ahead to having his household in the identical nation.
“I didn’t miss this climate,” he stated, laughing. “However I did miss dwelling.”
© 2019 International Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.