Moroccan NGOs Issue Urgent Plea to Prevent Execution of Six Nationals Accused of ISIS Links in Somalia

Moroccan non-governmental organizations are urging government intervention after six Moroccan nationals were sentenced to death by a military court in Bossaso, northern Somalia. The court’s decision, announced on March 1, convicted the men of terrorism charges based on their alleged ties to the Islamic State (ISIS) group.

Moroccan civil society groups leading the call for action include 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 urging the Moroccan government to intervene urgently to save the lives of these individuals and facilitate their repatriation.

The defendants were part of a larger group of nine suspects, including seven foreigners, arrested for allegedly joining ISIS training camps in the Cal-Miskaat Mountains in northeastern Somalia. Despite their claims, communicated through their lawyer and an interpreter during the court proceedings, that they were misled into joining the group and voluntarily surrendered to the authorities, the court found them guilty. Some defendants claimed they were seeking employment and were unaware of the recruiters’ true intentions. They now face execution unless they appeal within 30 days.

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

In the weeks leading up to the trial, security forces in Puntland captured two key foreign ISIS leaders in the Bari region, including Moroccan national Hassan Ibnu Mohamed Ibnu Hussein, during a targeted 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.

Moroccan NGOs, staunch opponents of the death penalty, have strongly criticized these sentences. They are urging the Moroccan government to act swiftly to save these individuals and arrange for their immediate repatriation.

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