Two men have been executed for raping and murdering a 12-year-old girl in Somalia’s Puntland region.
The men, Abdifatah Warsame, 24, and Abdhishakar Dige, 46, were executed on Tuesday by firing squad in Bosaso – a city in the northeastern Bari province of Somalia. The third man, Abdisalam Abdirahman’s execution was delayed for ten days.
Iliyas Aden, the father of the girl, alongside his family, welcomed the execution, according to VOA. He expressed his satisfaction in the judgement, saying “I am feeling good.”
He further said that the punishment will help reduce rape against Somalia women.
“There will be a strong lesson from this case,” he added.
Mr Aden who witnessed the execution of the men said he personally examined if the men still had pulses, just to make sure they were dead.
In February 24, 2019, Aisha Aden was sent to the market by her mother to do some shopping, a trip she never returned from.
She was kidnapped and was later found near the home of a neighbour, Mr Dige. The prosecution showed pictures of the victim’s body “badly tortured, bruised and mutilated.”
One of the accomplices, Mr Wasame, confessed in court that he participated in the rape but had no involvement in her killing.
He said that on the day of her kidnapping, Mr Dige brought him into his house and “showed him Aisha, tied up in a room. He said he was convinced to participate in the rape.”
When he left the house, Mr Warsame said, Aisha was still alive. Mr Dige later told him “he had to kill the girl in order to avoid being identified,” he said.
The three men involved in the crime were convicted and sentenced to death in May last year by the court. A higher court in August, upheld the death sentence. The execution was signed off by the Putland region’s leader, Said Deni.
A senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, Laetitia Bader, in a response to the verdict, said in a Tweet, that “what happened to Aisha was heart-breaking, horrific and a serious crime. To honor Aisha the Puntland authorities needed to credibly investigate and prosecute her brutal rape and murder.
“But the death penalty is inherently cruel & irreversible. Even in the most established judicial systems, due process abuses occur, often in highly contentious cases. Puntland should be seeking to end its use of the death penalty; however unpopular such a move may be.”