February 11, 2010
The HLS International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC), under the direction of Clinical Director Tyler Giannini and Lecturer on Law Susan Farbstein, recently filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Samantar v. Yousuf.
The brief was filed in support of Bashe Abdi Yousuf, a survivor of torture and other human rights abuses in Somalia at the hands of Somali National Security Service agents and military police under the command of General Mohammed Ali Samantar.
The case, which is scheduled for oral argument on March 3, 2010, involves the appeal of a Fourth Circuit ruling that the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (FSIA) does not shield foreign officials from being sued by individuals such as Yousuf under the Alien Tort Statute.
The IHRC brief was submitted on behalf of more than 20 amici curiae, and argues that the FSIA does not immunize individual former officials from suit in U.S. courts for violations of fundamental human rights such as torture and extrajudicial killing.
HLS students Leigh Sylvan ’10, Karl Procaccini ’10, Matt Bugher ’10 and Nate Ela ’07 contributed to the Supreme Court brief. Thomas Davies ’09, Fernando Delgado ’08, Matthew Perault ’08, Deborah Popowski ’08, Sarah Sorscher ’10, Claret Marcia Vargas ’10, and Joy Wang ’10 contributed to a brief on the same subject that was submitted to the Fourth Circuit in 2007.