The Rapist, Prosecutor and Adviser: The Unchallenged Rise of One Man in Somalia

MOGADISHU (Raxanreeb) – In the corridors of power in Somalia, one name stood unchallenged, wearing multiple hats: Farhan Hussein Mohamed. A prosecutor, a senior advisor to the Ministry of Information, and notably, the Somali Federal Government’s prosecutor in charge of crimes against journalists, as cited by UNESCO.

Yet behind this veneer of authority lay a dark and unsettling truth.

Born and raised in the Ethiopian-Somali region, Farhan embarked on a journey into Somalia as a migrant during the tumultuous era of Ethiopian forces clashing with Al-Itihad Al Islami, a militant Islamist group in Somalia.

Settling in the heart of Mogadishu, he immersed himself in the study of Islamic Sharia and the Arabic language within the hallowed halls of the city’s numerous mosques.

However, it was Farhan’s ascension to the Office of the Attorney General of the Somali Republic that catapulted him into the limelight. Beginning as an assistant, he swiftly climbed the ranks, becoming the Deputy Prosecutor endowed with unchecked authority.

With connections reaching deep into various government departments, Farhan became a ubiquitous figure in numerous courtroom dramas. One such case, spanning from October 2022 to February 2023, involved the Secretary General of the Somali Journalists Syndicate, Abdalle Mumin. Rumors swirled that Farhan’s involvement in the persecution might have been linked to his dual role as an advisor to the Ministry of Information, a position that potentially entailed dual government payment.

Amidst this backdrop of intrigue and power plays, a pivotal moment emerged in early October last year. Officials from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) embarked on a mission that promised to break the cycle of unreported and unresolved sexual violence perpetrated by influential government figures.

According to former and current CID officers, a courageous young university graduate, whose identity we withhold for her protection, came forward with a harrowing account. She detailed how she had been subjected to a horrific act of sexual violence at gunpoint within the Attorney General’s Office, housed within the Banadir Regional Court building.

This young wonan’s vulnerability stemmed from a desperate search for employment, which led her to Farhan at a social event. Promised an internship and the possibility of future employment, she soon found herself in his office, where her life would be irrevocably scarred.

Tampering evidence 

CID officers recounted the victim’s traumatic statement, her voice quaking as she spoke of Farhan as her alleged assailant, and the location of her ordeal, Farhan’s own office.

However, to the victim’s dismay, her case was derailed, leading to the destruction of crucial evidence, effectively burying her accusation. The CID commander, who chose to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter, reluctantly confirmed the tampering with evidence.

Upon learning of the victim’s allegations, Farhan descended upon the CID headquarters at KM4 in Mogadishu, issuing a chilling warning to the officer overseeing the case. It was a blatant display of influence that left an indelible mark on those involved.

United Nations records paint a grim picture of Somalia, with rape and sexual abuse remaining pervasive, though alarmingly underreported. A report released in July highlighted that 50% of sexual violence cases documented in 2022 affected women and girls displaced by climate-induced shocks.

For the victim, life has become a never-ending nightmare. Crippled by fear, she scarcely leaves her home, a place where she hides from the relentless shadows cast by her perpetrator, who continues to appear prominently in media coverage of court proceedings.

“She [the survivor] is shaken and lives in fear until today because her perpetrator is the government prosecutor and she sees everyday on the media as he appears in the court cases,” said a relative to the victim who also requested to be quoted with anonymity.

Death threats have become a chilling backdrop to her existence, a stark reminder of the courage she showed in speaking out.

When our reporter reached out to Farhan Hussein Mohamed for a response to these grave accusations, silence was his only reply.

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