Farhan Mohamoud Tani Warfaa is a native and resident of northwestern Somalia or Somaliland. Early one morning in December 1987, soldiers under the command of Yusuf Abdi Ali, also known as Colonel Tukeh, arrested Farhan and several other men. Farhan and the other men were arrested because Col. Tukeh believed a member of Farhan’s Isaaq sub-clan had helped members of the Somali National Movement (SNM) steal a water tanker truck.
In small groups, Farhan and the other prisoners were taken from their cell to a roofed building with open sides within the army compound. The soldiers then tightly tied their hands and feet together behind their backs so that their bodies were arched backward in a tilted U-shape, with their arms and legs high in the air. This form of torture was known as the “Mig” because it placed the prisoner’s body in a shape that resembled the Somali Air Force’s Mig aircraft. The position causes excruciating pain. While in the Mig position, Farhan was beaten and questioned about the theft of the water tanker truck.
Several times, after being beaten, the soldiers took Farhan directly to Col. Tukeh’s office. There, his right wrist was tied to his right ankle. Col. Tukeh then interrogated Farhan about the SNM fighters he said had stolen the water tanker truck. Col. Tukeh threatened to kill Farhan if he did not give him the information he wanted. Farhan was tortured in this manner between six and nine times during the approximately three months he was detained at the Fifth Brigade Army headquarters in Gebiley.
One evening in late February or early March 1988, after Farhan had been tortured and was being interrogated by Col. Tukeh, the SNM attacked. After the fighting stopped, Col. Tukeh attacked Farhan, kicking him in the chest. Just as Farhan fell over backward, Col. Tukeh took out his pistol and fired five shots at close range directly at him. Miraculously, Farhan survived. Col. Tukeh then ordered his soldiers to bury Farhan, apparently thinking he was dead.
Col. Tukeh’s soldiers removed Farhan from Col. Tukeh’s office, but they realized he was alive. The soldiers secretly agreed to accept a payment from Farhan’s family in exchange for his release.