- COLUMBUS, OHIO, November 20, 2012- Today, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio found the former investigations chief of the Somali National Security Service (NSS), Colonel Abdi Aden Magan, liable for the torture and arbitrary detention of constitutional law professor and human rights advocate, Abukar Hassan Ahmed. The court’s decision in Ahmed v. Magan is historic in that it is the first judgment ever in a court of law to hold a member of the notorious and widely feared Somali NSS accountable for human rights violations committed under the brutal military dictatorship that ruled Somalia for 20 years, the Siad Barré regime
Today’s judgment holds that Colonel Magan is responsible for Professor Ahmed’s arbitrary detention, torture, and cruel treatment at the hands of NSS officers, who acted on Colonel Magan’s orders. In his Ruling, Judge Smith found that that Professor Ahmed was detained, subjected to cruel treatment, and Tortured by NSS officers under orders from Colonel Magan. Professor Ahmed bears lasting physical and Psychological scars from his torture to this day. After the Siad Barre regime collapsed in 1991 Colonel Magan fled the country and sought safe haven in Ohio. This civil case was filed under two federal statutes, the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) and the Torture Victim Protection Act, by the Center for justice and Accountability (CJA) and pro bono co-counsel Latham & Watkins, LLP on behalf of Professor Ahmed.