Unspeakable Cruelty: Will There Be Justice for Precious Canab?


By Abdi Warsame

They say the measure of a society is how it treats its vulnerable members; if one were to measure our society by this standard, we are the lowest of the low. We have lost our humanity or are no longer abide by any moral values. The story of Canab is a testament to our inhumanity and immorality. It seems we have accepted and perhaps endorsed criminality as the norm. On March 7, 2014, Maxamed Ibrahim Macalimuu of BBC- Somali reported the story of Canab, a four old Somali child who was tortured by her step-father over a long period. Canab’s natural father passed away. Her mother remarried and Canab came under the care of a new man, her new step-father who is a member of the Somali military. A father or any man who has authority over a child is supposed to care and nurture the child. It is a responsibility that one signs up for when he adopts or brings a child into this world. Instead of embracing his responsibility as any caring adult would, Canab’s caretaker started torturing her. He used belts and plastic hose to mercilessly beat little Canab. Her only crime is that Canab wouldn’t stop crying during the night. This abuse continued over a long period of time. Canab’s injuries are extensive. According to Dr. Maxamed Yusuf, the Director-General of Madina Hospital, her wounds are all over her tiny body whether be limbs, chest, back, etc (check below pictures). Canab has became terrified of people. She gets particularly gets terrified when men move towards her as she has came to associate all men with her tormenter. Canab cries anytime a person rises his hand in order to lift her up or assist her. This shows the extent of the mental abuse. The scars on Canab’s body and mind will haunt her for a long time. I hope she gets the love and care she needs. Equally important, Canab needs some justice. Her tormentor fled when she was admitted to Madina. Dear Somalis, as we busy ourselves with what’s happening in Villa Somalia, please remember what is at stake. The lives of our children, women and elderly are in peril. It is criminal of us not to keep them in our minds, and more importantly, do everything we can to help them and indeed help ourselves from the abyss. Don’t be distracted by petty politics or be obsessed with men who don’t have our interest at heart. Today whatever your affiliation is, we all are refugees and victims of a calamity. Remind yourself of Canab, our under-age girls who are being raped by AMISOM, our young dying in the deserts and the high seas, our refugees abused in South Africa, Kenya and all over, and the occupations of our lands. Please share Canab’s story with others including with people who are in a position to help her; we have no updates on what happened to her tormentor. Please also share it with anyone that has some influence in the Somali Government. I ask of the major Somali websites to not let this story die.

By Abdi Warsame


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