Somalia: International lawyers sue Farmaajo govt over crimes against humanity


A group of international lawyers in Australia said they had filed a lawsuit that implicate the Somali federal government authorities over crimes against humanity to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the lead lawyer Yusuf Abdi Farah said.

Farah said the lawyers had brought four cases against the federal government to the Hague-based court. He said the court registry had received and registered the cases.

“We have brought four cases to the court. The first case seeks to prosecute the Somali government for the controversial disappearance of Ikran Tahlil Farah while the second is the death of civilian protesters shot and killed in Baidoa in December 2018,” Farah told the Voice of America radio.

Lawyers also accuse Somali federal authorities of imposing “unlawful sanctions” on the people of Kismayo following the controversial re-election of Ahmed Madobe as president of Jubbaland in September 2019.

“In the fourth case, we are seeking justice for young Somali trainees secretly taken to Eritrea whose fate remains unknown until today after they were allegedly deployed to fight in the ongoing war in Ethiopia’s Tigray region,” the lead lawyer said.

In addition to that, lawyers are also working on three other cases, among them, the “Barire massacre that killed at least 11 innocent farmers during a military raid, the Dhusamareb killings committed by the Turkish-trained paramilitary Somali police force called ‘Haramacad’ and the atrocities in Bula Hawo and Dolow that include rape and sexual violence against women and girls.

The lawsuit- which becomes the first to go to ICC – comes amid standing other cases that implicate president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo’s government and his National Intelligence (NISA) on committing serious human rights violations.


Early this month, the Somali military court received a lawsuit filed by the family of Ikran Tahlil. After Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble’s ordered the military prosecutor to investigate the case, on September 9, the chief military prosecutor announced to have received the lawsuit that names four “top NISA officials including Fahad Yasin and Yasin Farey”.  The two are Farmajo’s right hand men.

However, according to government sources, President Farmaajo argued that the case should be dealt with amicably and not in the court, a move Ikran’s family refused.

In May, local lawyers in Mogadishu sued then NISA chief, Fahad Yasin and his cousin who led Villa Somalia communications, Abdinur Mohamed Ahmed, for the raid of the privately-owned independent Radio Mustaqbal and torturing its journalist in Mogadishu. The raid took place in April.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) in mid this month declared the arrest and detention of a human rights journalist, Mohamed Abdiwahab Nuur (“Abuuja”) who comes from a minority clan had violated the international law.

UNWGAD gave its opinion after a filing was submitted by a group of local and international human rights groups- Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), Somali Media Association (SOMA), and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

Abuuja was detained, tortured and held incommunicado for over five months by NISA in retaliation for an editorial he published three days earlier criticising Somali security forces for engaging in threats and intimidation against Somali citizens.



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