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Death for 5 men convicted of raping teenager in Galkaayo

Storyline:National News

Five men found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl in Galkaayo were yesterday slapped with a death sentence by a court in Garowe.

The court established the five defendants, two of them aged 18 and 19 were responsible for gang raping the teenage girl in Galkaayo last month and subsequently murdering her.

Deputy court attorney Mohamed Farah told journalists the five were found guilty of threatening, raping and murdering the teenager.

“All these defendants were charged of eight counts including rape, murder, threatening and possession of illegal weapons. The court sentenced them to death,” said Farah.

Farah said the five were charged under the newly enacted Sexual Offenses Act which was passed by the Puntland parliament in 2016.

The court official added some of the offenders had escaped but were later nabbed and moved to Garowe ahead of their trial.

The sentencing of the five men is a test to Somalia’s commitment to try sexual offenses offenders in a court of law as opposed to the traditional customary law which has been criticized for injustice against victims of such violence.

The verdict also comes barely a week after another teenage girl was raped and brutally murdered in Galkaayo sparking public protests from the public, students and Somalis in social media most of whom warned against application of customary laws in addressing the offence.