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Moroccan NGOs launch urgent appeal to save six nationals facing death in Somalia for alleged ISIS ties

Thursday March 28, 2024

Garowe (HOL) - Moroccan non-governmental organizations are calling for governmental intervention following the sentencing to death of six Moroccan nationals by a military court in Bossaso, northern Somalia. The court's decision, reported on March 1, found the men guilty of terrorism charges for their alleged affiliations with the Islamic State (ISIS) group.

Moroccan civil society groups are leading the call for action, including the Moroccan Coalition Against the Death Penalty, the Association for Justice and Fair Trials, and the Lawyers Network Against the Death Penalty. These organizations have publicly condemned the death sentences and are advocating for the Moroccan government to intervene urgently to save the lives of these individuals and facilitate their repatriation.

The accused were part of a larger group of nine suspects, including seven foreigners, apprehended for allegedly joining ISIS training camps in the Cal-Miskaat Mountains within the northeastern region of Somalia. Despite their claims, communicated through their lawyer and an interpreter during the court proceedings, that they were misled into joining the group and their subsequent voluntary surrender to the authorities, the court has found them guilty. Some defendants claimed they sought employment and were unaware of the recruiters' ulterior motives. They now face execution unless they appeal within 30 days.

Colonel Ali Ibrahim Osman, deputy chairman of the Somali military court, detailed the court's decision, emphasizing that the convicted individuals had admitted their membership in ISIS over two years. 

Weeks before the trial, security forces in Puntland apprehended two key foreign leaders of the Islamic State in the Bari region, including Moroccan national Hassan Ibnu Mohamed Ibnu Hussein, during a precise operation in the Bohol area.

Col. Osman identified the Moroccans as Mohamed Hassan, Ahmed Najwi, Khalid Latha, Mohamed Binu Mohamed Ahmed, Ridwan Abdulkadir Osmany, and Ahmed Hussein Ibrahim.

The Moroccan NGOs, staunch opponents of the death penalty, have denounced these sentences. They are pressing the Moroccan government to save these individuals and secure their repatriation immediately.


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