Somali convert jailed & tortured by Al-Shabaab militants

April 24, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Militants from the rebel Islamist group al-Shabaab have seized, imprisoned and tortured a Christian convert from Islam in Somalia.

Islamist group al-ShabaabAfrica, April 22, 2013: Hassan Gulled was taken by the rebels, who still control parts of central southern Somalia, on 23 March in Bulo Marer, near Qoryoley District. Hassan (25), who had been living in Christian-majority Kenya since 2007, returned to Somalia in late February to visit his family. His wife is still inKenya.

Hassan became a Christian in 2010 and married in 2011. His Christian activities were noticed by al-Shabaab extremists in Kenya, who contacted their counterparts in Somalia. His movements there were monitored by the group, which has a base in Bulo Marer, for three weeks before he was jailed.

SOMALI CHRISTIAN REFUGEES RETURNING

Dozens of Somali Christian refugees who took refuge in Kenya are now returning to their home country after a new central government in Mogadishu took over from the Transitional Federal Government in August 2012.

The stranglehold of al-Shabaab, which imposes harsh restrictions on human rights and arbitrary justice on areas under its control, has been weakened in the past year. The militant group has been ousted from much of its former territory with the help of Kenyan military forces.

Yet despite these developments, the dozens of returning Christian refugees and other underground Christians are still at great risk of violence by al-Shabaab, which has vowed to rid Somalia of Christians. Hassan’s capture is the latest in a series of recent anti-Christian attacks in the country.

Al-Shabaab is suspected of the killing of Ahmed Ali Jimale, a Christian teacher and pharmacist. The father of four was shot dead outside his house on the outskirts of Kismayo on 18 February.

Also, Christian convert Mursal Isse Siad was shot dead outside his home in Beledweyne by unidentified gunmen on 8 December 2012. Mursal, who reportedly became a Christian in 2000, had been receiving death threats for leaving Islam.

These killings followed the brutal beheading of another Christian convert, Farhan Haji Mose, by al-Shabaab rebels. Farhan’s movements had been monitored by the group for six months before his public execution in the coastal city of Barawa on 16 November 2012. Farhan, who returned to Somalia in December 2011 after spending time in Kenya, was accused by his killers of being a spy.

Al-Shabaab is also active in Kenya, and is thought to be responsible for the killing of Abdi Welli, a Somali church leader who was ambushed and shot dead in Garissa.

– morning star news

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