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Detained Malaysian in Somalia receiving fair trial, says embassy

Thursday September 23, 2021

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): A Malaysian man known as Ahmad Mustakim Abdul Hamid, who is currently under detention for allegedly entering Somalia to engage in the activities of the Al-Shabaab terrorist group, is receiving a fair trial, says Somalia’s embassy in Malaysia.

The embassy’s press attaché Abdimajit M. Osman - in a phone interview - said that Ahmad Mustakim was charged in Somalia’s military court and the court proceedings began in 2019 after his arrest that year.

"Ahmad is being treated well and is receiving a fair trial according to Somalia's law and justice system. We would like to assure the Malaysian people that he is receiving a fair hearing,” he said.

Replying to a question, Abdimajit said Ahmad Mustakim was the first Malaysian to be charged with with terrorism-related activities and supporting the Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

"Ahmad has already served more than two years in prison in Somalia. He claims to have come to Somalia to visit a friend he met in Yemen and that he has no connection to Al-Shabaab,” Abdimajit further said.

On Saturday, Malaysia's Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah was reported as saying that the Foreign Ministry was closely monitoring the detention and legal process imposed on Ahmad Mustakim.

The minister said Malaysian Embassy officials in Khartoum, Sudan, had made a consular visit to ensure the welfare and health of Ahmad Mustakim were taken care of.

"The ministry will continue to monitor developments in the case and will provide the necessary assistance to him by ensuring his rights and welfare are always protected and that he gets a fair trial in accordance with the law.

"We must respect the laws of the respective country, and we may ask for our embassy representatives to attend his court proceedings,” Saifuddin said.

Abdimajit also pointed out that Ahmad Mustakim, 34, was arrested along with another foreign national.

He said Ahmad Mustakim is believed to have entered Somalia around 2009 or 2010.

Abdimajit explained that the Somali government had charged both of them with "assisting Al -Shabaab with their technical capabilities”.

"(The allegations are) they assisted with creating propaganda videos, social media and indoctrination of Somalis and other nationals in foreign countries and that they were captured while attempting to travel illegally to Yemen where they are accused of trying to join the Isis (Daesh) in Yemen,” he said.

"Somalia is a 100-per cent Muslim country and the terrorism caused by Al-Shabaab in the name of religion is against Muslims. Malaysia is a country of diverse religions where the people live in peace. This is true Islam and should be an example to all Muslims," Abdimajit said.

In Aug 2014, Bernama reported that the Home Ministry was closely monitoring the movements of three Somali males who were suspected to be involved with the Al-Shabaab terrorist group.

The three men were believed to be using student visas to enter the country.

The Al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliate in the African continent, was founded in 2004 in Somalia and is also known for its high profile attacks such as the 2013 attacks against Westgate Mall in Nairobi in Kenya and numerous assassinations of Somali politicians and military officers.

Although the Al-Shabaab continues to pose a security threat in East Africa and with its activities spreading beyond Somalia’s borders, the group is much weakened now after the killing of many of its key leaders and members.

The Al-Shabaab has killed, both inside and outside Somalia, thousands of civilians and security personnel in brutal attacks, and continues to launch attacks against civilian and military targets in Somalia despite the government’s intensive operations against them for the past couple of years.- Bernama


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