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Puntland Court gives death to 3 men for raping, murdering 12-yr-old girl

A court in Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland has on Sunday sentenced three men to death for raping, torturing and murdering 12-years-old Asha Ilyas Adan in Galkayo, central Somalia in February., Somali media reports.

The court in Garowe, the administrative capital of Puntland, has released seven other defendants brought to the court after the judge said the prosecutors failed to produce concrete evidence to charge them.

In a highly protected court room with a huge crowd of spectators, Sheikh Abdinur Jama Hussein, the chief judge of the First Degree Court of Nugal, has announced the death sentence for the three men but had also given a 30-day window of appeal for the three.

“After assessing all the evidences brought to this court against the 10 defendants alleged of torture, rape and murder against Asha Ilyas Adan, this court has sentenced Abdifatah Abdirahman Warsame, 34; Abdishakur Mohamed Degel, 46; and Abdisalam Abdirahman Warsame, 24, to death which will be executed by the government of Puntland,” the judge said.

While reading the same charge sheet, chief judge Hussein challenged the state prosecutors for their failure to institute all pirces of evidences enough to charge the other seven men.

“I hereby therefore order for the immediate release of the other seven men whose names are indicated in this charge sheet,” the judge declared.

The three convicted were escorted out of the court room in chains by a heavily armed police.

The body of Asha Ilyas Adan was found dumped near her home in the north of Galkayo days after she went missing from her family in February sparking public outrage and calling for stern measures against increasing rape.

Police had established that she was brutally tortured and murdered after she was gang raped.

In late February, the President of Puntland, Said Abdullahi Deni has condemned the callous rape and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

On Sunday when the court conviction was announced, there was a mixed reaction from the public. Some spectators who traveled from Galkayo, about 230km from Garowe said they were relieved with the sentence and that a death penalty might deter a future rapists.

“Rape is bad and it is affecting our society negatively so death sentence is the only option to scare rapists from committing such a crime,” Muna Hassan, a mother of three daughters said as cited by Horn Globe News.

But according to Hafsa Mohamed Ahmed, few cases of rape only get attention specially when it involves murder. She fears if the death penalty given to the three men on Sunday will be authorized by the state despite they were given a 30-day time frame to appeal.

“Let’s see if they will execute them. I doubt,” she added.

The extent of rape in Somalia remains difficult to measure, with most cases going unreported or being resolved between families.

While rape is punishable with a jail term of up-to 14 years, cases are often settled outside the courts by traditional elders, with perpetrators typically paying compensation or marrying the victim.

Source: Horn Globe Media

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