Somalia executes two men by firing squad for girls gang rape and murder - GulfToday

Somalia executes two men by firing squad for girl's gang rape and murder


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Two men responsible for the the gang rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl have been executed by firing squad on Tuesday in Somalia, said a government official.

The official added that the judgment will serve as a warning to other perpetrators of crime against women in the country.

The victim, Aisha Ilyes Aden got abducted last February at a market in northern Puntland’s Galkayo town. The next morning her mutilated body was found close to her home.

The brutal way she was killed led to public outrage and demonstrations calling on lawmakers to put up  a landmark 2016 law to secure justice in Somalia, where rape victims go through shame and are forced to marry the rapists.

May last year, three men were convicted and sentenced to death. There was an appeal but the verdict was upheld by the appeal court.

"This is a clear indication that justice is served in Puntland," Puntland's Justice Minister Awil Sheikh Hamid told a news conference. "It is a worrying alert for those who try to carry out crimes against women and girls."

Execution of the third man has been delayed, he added. However, he did reveal details on why.

Adeer Ilyas, the victim's father, who witnessed the execution of the two men in the port city of Bosasso early on Tuesday, said he was happy that justice had been served.

"This case will serve as a lesson learned," Ilyas told local reporters. "It will help to ensure that all Somali girls will be safe."

In 2016, the first law criminalising offences such as sexual harassment and rape was pass in the semi-autonomous Puntland region in Somalia.

According to women’s rights activist, perpetrators of violence against women hardly get convicted because the police are either unaware or don’t see violence against women as a serious crime.

In addition, the culture of shame doesn’t make it easy for the victims to report abuses, added the activists.

"This is the first time such a sentence has been meted in a case involving a woman and we commend the government," said a statement from the Galkayo Education Centre for Peace and Development, a local women's rights organisation.

"While we do not support the death penalty, we believe that this will send the strongest message that violence against women will not be tolerated."

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