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A top court in Somalia upholds death sentences for rapists

GAROWE, Puntland – A court in Somalia’s northeastern Puntland state has on Sunday upheld death sentences against three men found guilty of gang rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl, Garowe Online reports.

The Federal State’s second-degree court in Garowe city supported the first-degree court ruling last May, saying the decision was “fair and justice” as the men have committed the odious crime that led to street protests.

Meanwhile, lawyers defending Abdifatah Abdirahman Warsame, Abdisalan Abdirahman Warsame and Abdishakur Mohamed said they will appeal to the third-degree court to save the men from execution by firing squad.

Aisha Ilyes Aden, 12, was abducted at a market in northern Puntland’s Galkayo town last February and was found dead the next morning near her home after she has been raped and then brutally murdered.

A post-mortem found she had been gang-raped, her genitals mutilated and strangled to death.

Big rallies have been held in key towns in Puntland and Somalis at home and abroad have taken to social media using the hashtag #JusticeForAisha calling for a proper investigation into the teenager’s case.

Puntland government has passed the country’s first Sexual Offences Law in 2016, which criminalizes rape, sexual harassment, and online sexual offenses to stop the Gender-based violence and protect women’s and girls’ rights.

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