(SomalilandPress)-How would you feel if a man responsible for the rape, torture and murder of thousands of people was living freely in your community? That’s right — parking next to you at Costco, sitting next to you at the movie theater, or waiting in line behind you at the dry cleaner. If you live in our nation’s capitol, one of your neighbors is Mohamed Ali Samantar, the former Minister of Defense for Somalia under the brutal Siad Barre regime.

Samantar, who currently lives in Fairfax, Virginia, oversaw the military for a regime that tortured, imprisoned, and summarily executed civilians during the 1980’s. Teachers, students, and nomads were accused of supporting an opposition campaign and were slaughtered. Samantar was in command of the Somali forces engaged in these indiscriminate attacks upon the civilian population and personally oversaw the 1988 aerial and land attacks on Hargeisa, the nation’s second largest city, which killed over 5,000 residents.

After the fall of the Barre regime in 1991 Samantar fled to Europe and then to the United States. He is one of many former foreign government officials who have committed horrific human rights violations and are now living freely in the United States just like you and me. If that makes you cringe, how do you think the survivors of their crimes feel?

At the Center for Justice and Accountability, a non-profit organization that seeks to bring human rights abusers like Samantar to justice, we help survivors of human rights abuses hold their perpetrators individually accountable through litigation.

In a few weeks, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear the opening arguments in a case that will decide whether or not former foreign government officials like Samantar — who come to America and enjoy the benefits of being and living in America — are above the law in a way that nobody else in this democratic country is. The case is Yousuf v. Samantar and it is the first human rights case filed addressing the abuses committed in Somalia during the Barre regime. In this case, the Supreme Court will decide whether foreign government officials, after using their power to torture, rape and kill, are truly subject to U.S. law or whether they are above the law and can avoid responsibility for their actions.

The plaintiffs in this case are courageous survivors of egregious human rights abuses. Bashe Abdi Yousuf was a young business man who was detained, tortured, and kept in solitary confinement for over six years. Aziz Mohamed Deria represents his father and brother, who were abducted by officials during the attack on Hargeisa and never seen again. Today, Bashe and Aziz are U.S. citizens living in the United States.

The remaining plaintiffs are so fearful for retribution that they are listed as Jane and John Doe’s. Jane Doe was a university student detained by officials and sentenced to life in prison after a trial where she was given no legal counsel. In detention, she was raped at least 15 times and kept in solitary confinement for over three years. John Doe I was arbitrarily detained by Somali government forces and threatened with death. He also represents his two brothers who were summarily executed by soldiers. John Doe II, imprisoned for his affiliation to the Isaaq clan, was shot by a firing squad, but miraculously survived by hiding under the dead bodies of others who had been killed.

On November 10, 2004, the Center for Justice and Accountability and pro bono co-counsel Cooley Godward Kronish LLP filed this lawsuit against Mohamed Ali Samantar under the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) seeking damages on behalf of the 5 survivors. The TVPA, passed by Congress in1991, states that foreign government officials who torture — including those who torture U.S. citizens — are not above the law and must be held accountable for their actions. According to the act, when the alleged torturer has chosen to live within U.S. borders and an effective judicial system is unavailable in the country where the crimes were committed — as is the case in Somalia — the torturer is then subject to the laws of the U.S.

Samantar responded to the complaint by arguing that he is protected under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), which provides a foreign state with immunity from lawsuits in the U.S. On September 30, 2009, the Supreme Court announced that it would review whether Samantar — as an individual — is immune from civil suit here. And today, we filed our brief with the court on behalf of the plaintiffs explaining why Samantar is not immune — and why our case should go forward in the lower court.

By seeking to dismiss this case, Mohamed Ali Samantar, having chosen to move to the United States and enjoy the benefits of living in this country, seeks to override the laws of this country while simultaneously taking away the Congressionally given rights of U.S. soldiers, prisoners of war, and citizens to hold those who have inflicted the gravest human rights abuses against them accountable.

For the five plaintiffs of this case, a decision against Samantar will bring much needed justice for themselves and for survivors of human rights abuses everywhere. And it will send a message to war criminals that the U.S will not provide them with a safe haven — and that they will be held responsible for their actions under U.S. law. To learn more about the case, visit



  1. i do`t know why USA has 2 faces.
    samater is in America, who killed 3000 Somalilands
    Now they want may help.
    So do I help them or help Shabab.

  2. he Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia,

  3. If the US is requesting foreign countries to hand over terrorists and criminals they want, the US should also fulfill its obligation and deport man like Samatar to Somaliland or face a court in the US.

    This is former killer and the man behind Somalia's genocide, he is basically not free in the US but also American tax payers support him and his lifestyle.

    Americans need to know they are feeding and habouring a criminal, it's time the US listened to others and brought this killer to justice, all the victims want is court.

  4. It's the time to bring before the justice the criminals committed gross human rights violations, war crimes etc. who raped, maimed and killed innocents pple including children, women and the cream of the people. Samatar is the first to be prosecuted in the international tribunals.

    Why US allowing the hard core criminal enjoying it's country and protecting from suit. let us take him to the court, let's punish him to his acts and let's compensate to the victims of human rights violations he committed against.

  5. It's Ok any CRIMINAL to live in the USA as long us they didnt kill any Americans infect they are very happy for you to kill others, same how you are doing there dirty work.

  6. i am sorry to see such Samatar who is walking freely in the US that calls it self as a Democratic state
    Yeah US is a democratic state and any one could live their peacefully even the Criminals.
    that is the secret of Democracy

  7. If US government can justified going to war against Iraq in 2003 because one of the main reasons were Sadam Hussein was a butcher of his own people, This guy Samatar, who is currently not only living in US freely but living on US tax payers money, was the waste butcher of human kind, H e himself ordered the murder, torture, rape and distractions of people who live then, Northwestern part of Somalia which currently is known as Somalilnd. Every penny this guy have whether in USA or Swiss banks, should be allocated for the victims of his murders order.

  8. Anyone who committed crime should be pay for what he did and I don't think Samater is along in this. There are many more who live in N.America when they infact did unimagable crimes. Samater was holding second position in Somali government and he should pay what he did but Amarica need to be fair and follow up all other criminals. There are many people who were part of that government ; therefore, anyone who was part of that government and didn't do anything or didn't leave it need to be look out.

    Also any other groups who harm civilian eventhough they were fighting that government also fit in criminal watch list. If country like U.S take the lead for charging anyone who committed crime regardless of cause, it will be good idea to stop future crimes. All these groups including government, those who were fighting the government need to check what they done toward civilians. African leaders wouldn't think twice before doing something wrong.

  9. Mr. Ayanle, You still do not get it, we are talking about Government leaders who use government forces and commit murder and other crime against it is own people. Who do know few others who were the cronies of Samatar and followed his order to kill, rape and murder. So if you think there are those who fit these definitions please say so. Otherwise do not mix apples and oranges.

  10. USA should be called United Criminals State (UCS), anyone can hide in the US even if Saddam and Chemical Ali left Iraq early, US would be happy to give them a free government house, welfare number and so on like Mr Samatar.

  11. It is very shame to US that a such terrible guy Ali samatar lives in America. This horror deserves the death penalthy , let alone walking freely.

  12. Samater should be punished for the heinous crimes he committed against the poor and unarmed civilian population in the city of Hargesia where he instructed the Somali Air Force to bombard and completely destroy it. The barbaric bombardment resulted in the mass genocide of the population.

  13. never will you touch hon general samatar, he is above your leaguge.
    the man advices thee highest figures in american millitry and policy makers.
    samatar was great friend of reagan and bush 1 and used to advice george bush 2 when it came to somalia.

    better not go there because he will populish names of somaliland informants and collaborator and believe you me its well known in gen samatar circle that people if such a information is released the wining somalilanders will find out that the people who abused them where their somalilands own people, its just the orders came from above.

    you can`t touch samatar because just like morgan he is protected by people who are more powerfull then you, samatar was given royal seal of security, if he goes down somaliland goes down beiieve you

  14. These kinds of cases against some Former Somali Army officers are hurting the Somaliland Republics image within the Somali community. Believe me, if you love and care about Somaliland and its future, never support these kinds of hatred based trials. It will come right back to our faces. Long live Somaliland!

    • It is very hard to know why human nature mystifies us so much that once they come to power. They become the judge, the jury, and the executioner. They become above the law and consider themselves to be untouchable. Ali Samatar, Morgan, Galaydh, and their collaborators should be brought to justice by the International Community and to charge them for committing crimes against humanity.

      US should be ashamed for harbouring criminals and funding their cosy livestyle by American Taxerpayers.

      Somalilanders you guys talking about are the minority among and what we call the enmey within. They will be dealt with when the time comes, among them are people who occupies high positions in the Somaliland Government as we speak. They know, who they are. Expose them if you know them , even if they are from our own.

      • Gobaad,

        The three names that you mentioned are all associated with one Somali Clan! Where are all the others who worked with the former Somali government? Why not mention the ones who shared the same clan with the so called genocide victims but were killing their own clansmen? But are now living freely in Somaliland, They are even top gov’t officials!

        Now, I see where you coming from. You’re one of the few people who believe that Somaliland belongs to one tribe. But if that was the case Somaliland would be as small as 100 square kilometers, so quit the non-sense and lets keep SL united!

  15. Somaliland is for Somalilanders who believe in the unity of Somaliland, but those who are hanging on to tribal affiliation have to cross the border. Kolka horeba daaq bay xuduudka uga soo gubeene.

    Soolboy, please stop talking from both sides of your mouth!! You are either a proud Somalilander or a clans associate. You can't be both.

    • Gobaad,

      I am proud of being a Somaliland native. But if you try to use a tribal non-sense on me I’ll do the same! Yes, we’re connected to Somalia tribes but we live in Somaliland and we belong here.

      But if you “other tribes” keep insulting my Somalia brothers or my greater clan, we will eventually split-up and there won’t be something called Somaliland and gooni isu tag anymore. So, who do you think will lose the dirty tribal based games?
      Here is how we might split.

      Sool, Sanaag, Awdal and half of Togdheer. On one side vs W/Galbeed + Berbera + Sheikh + Wajaale = half of the State of Sanaag!

      I am not a big fan of tribalism but if some Somalilanders don’t quit it I swear we’ll end up far worse than Mogadishu!

  16. That is a wishful thinking. You split nothing. Daaq ayaa dalka Somaliland ku soo geliyey. Soolna ma lihid, Sanaagna ma lihid,Togdheerna ma lihid, Awdalna shaqo aad ku leedahay baa iska yar. Daalka annagu kuma deg degno, laakiin waxan ku leeyahay: Bring it on! Kabo la'aan baannu xuduudka kaga saari doonnaa aadiga iyo wixii kula maskaxaba.

  17. We will see about that, Mr Soolboy, inaad sheegato, Sool, Sanaag, Togdheer, and Awdal too (what a joke?) iyo in kale. Only time will tell.

    Who said we have a problem with out? Riyaale is our President we do not hate him, but we criticize him because we want him to do a better job than he is doing.

    Besides, if one is in a public position it is most likely that one will be criticized when one doesn't do the job well. He and any other president wanna-be are a fair game for criticism should they don't the job to the public's satisfaction. It comes with the territory.

    … We will never become Independent Nation! If you don't consider yourself independent, we are Independent and will always be.

  18. We built the Somaliland gov't and we can easily destroy it at will. But, we don't want to do that right now. If we see more Suuf-alool terrorists in top Somaliland offices that's when all hell will break lose. Like I said before, we don't mind as long as Siyad Barre trained officers are in the Madaxtooyada Somaliland. Laakiin dadka caadifadaysan ee Silanyo iyo Ina Aadan Waraabe kamid yihiin haday dalka ka taliyaan waalagu kala tagi! Dagaalkii habar-habarta ha sugi waayin.

  19. SNM haddii ay si fiican idiinku tuman lahayd, oo ay xuduudka idin dhaafin lahayd in 1988, we would have had this talk today. Rag nabad jecel ayaa ku dhaartay in laydin nabadgeliyo. Waar Abtaa loo yahay ee dhiig Islaameed innaga daaya.

    Dawladda aad sheegaysona, annakaa dhisnay. Riyaalena annakaa, doorannay, annakaana degin karna. So, quit your nonsense and provocation.

  20. Somaliland Press, hay cabuqinin edeb-darridiisaan ka jawaabayeye! Wuxuu ku hadlaayo miyaydaan u jeedin, low life(kani)

  21. Gobaad inabti hadaad gabadh tahay XAAL baan ku siiyey walee. Wax alla wixii aan kugu idhi waan kaa raali gelinayaa. Cafis iyo masaamax! 🙂

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