Yousuf v. Samantar, 2000-2014 July 14

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Physical description:
3.5 boxes
Scope and content:

This case file contains court filings from the Virginia district court case as well as materials related to the Supreme Court cases. Additionally, because the Department of State holds certain powers to determine whether or not foreign officials can seek immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, several files contain materials connected to the State Department. Several Supreme Court appeal briefs arrived interfiled with those related to Yousuf v. Samantar. These have been kept in their original order and include: Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain, Al-Odah v. USA, and Rasul v. Bush and regard topics such as the Alien Tort Claims Act (Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain) and individual rights and freedoms (Al-Odah v. USA and Rasul v. Bush).

Materials in this collection may include violent acts, including firsthand accounts and descriptions of torture and violent deaths.

Biographical / historical:

General Mohammad Ali Samantar served as Somalia's prime minister and minister of defense during the Siad Barré regime. During the 1980's, Samantar oversaw the torture and killing of Somali civillians. The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) represented four civilians in a civil suit against Samantar in 2004. A Virginia district court awarded the CJA's clients $21 million in damages. Samantar then went on to petition the United States Supreme Court for immunity on the basis that he was serving his government in an official capacity, but the Supreme Court ruled against him on the basis that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act does not protect individual officials' actions.

Parts of the Historical Note were adapted from the CJA's website: "Atrocities Committed under Somali Dictator Siad Barre: Yousuf v. Samantar" (accessed April 14, 2022).


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Access note. Collection contains audiovisual formats that may need to be reformatted before use. Contact Research Services for access.

Access note. Some materials in this collection are electronic records that require special equipment. Contact Research Services with questions.

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