Somali Uber Driver Found Guilty of Torture

May 22, 2019

A Somali Uber driver has been found guilty by an American court for committing acts of torture during the East African country’s civil war in the late 1980s.

According to reports, Yusuf Abdi Ali – who left Somalia in 1990 – entered the US state of Virginia on a spousal visa from Canada in 1996. For 18 months, he worked as a driver for ride service, Uber.

Court documents state Ali worked as a commander in the Somalian national army. He was a supporter of dictator Siad Barre, who led a genocide against the country’s largest clan, the Isaaq.

Farhan Tani Warfaa, a Somali citizen and Isaaq clansman, accused Ali – also known as “Colonel Tukeh” – of supervising a group of soldiers who kidnapped him before interrogating, torturing and beating him over the course of several months in 1987.

At Ali’s command, Warfaa was shot multiple times. He claims that he survived by bribing his gravediggers to spare him.

Appearing in court in Alexandria, Virginia on Tuesday, 21 May, Ali was found guilty of torturing Warfaa, and has been ordered to pay him $500 000 in damages.