Somali torture victim: Ohio court hearing a relief

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A human rights advocate tortured in Somalia in the 1980s says he’s relieved to have finally had his day in court.

Abukar Hassan Ahmed (AB’-oo-kahr hah-SAHN’ AHK’-mehd) says his appearance before a federal judge in Columbus, Ohio, last week for a damages hearing sends the message that justice is universal.

Ahmed tells The Associated Press that his experience should give hope to all victims of torture and help with the reconciliation process in Somalia.

Federal Judge George Smith previously ruled that former Somali military colonel Abdi Aden Magan (AHB’-dee AH’-dehn MAY’-gehn) was responsible for Ahmed’s torture. He later lived in Columbus.

Magan initially fought the 2010 lawsuit brought by the San Francisco-based Center for Justice and Accountability but stopped participating last year and now lives in Kenya.

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