A firing squad has executed two men in north-eastern Somalia for raping and killing a 12-year-old girl.
Aisha Ilyaas Aden was abducted, gang raped and killed near her home in Galkayo, in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, in February 2019.
The case caused uproar and sparked demonstrations across the country. Ten suspects were initially arrested but the regional High Court found three of them guilty in May.
Prosecutors said they relied on DNA evidence for the first time to convict them. Two of those found guilty, Abdifatah Abdirahman Warsame and Abdishakur Mohamed Dige were shot at a public square in Bossasso town yesterday morning, the Garowe Online news website reported.
A third man, Abdisalam Abdirahman Warsame, the brother of Abdifatah, was spared despite also being sentenced to death.
Aisha’s father, Ilyas Aden, has told Puntland State TV that he requested the court postpone Abdisalam’s execution for 10 days until his case is re-assessed. “This execution will serve as a strong lesson and the Somali girls will be safe,” Aden said.
Aden said her family appointed the executioners to carry out the killing of the two men. He told BBC by phone that he had spoken to the men before the execution when they admitted to the rape and murder of his daughter and asked for forgiveness.
He said the regional authorities had asked him if he wanted to choose members of the execution squad or leave it to the local forces.Aden said that he had opted for his representatives to do the shooting.
Afterwards, he told local media that he had inspected the corpses to check the men were dead. Activists and campaign groups said rape and sexual abuse have become more common in Somalia in recent years.