Somaliland court sentences 21 men in a gang rape case

August 06, 2013

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A Somaliland regional court Sunday (August 4th) sentenced 21 men found guilty of gang-raping two Hargeisa women.

Twenty of the men were sentenced to ten years in jail while one man was sentenced to five years, head of Marodi Jeh Regional Court Faisal Abdullahi Ismail said.

The men were convicted of gang-raping two women on the night of July 25th on their way from taraweeh prayers in the New Hargeisa neighborhood of Gaan Libah district. "We have a lot of evidence and witnesses showing that [these men] committed the crime," Ismail said as he announced the sentence.

This is the most reasonable sentence issued by Somaliland courts against perpetrators of rape, said Ahmed Yusuf Hussein, head of Hargeisa-based Horn Human Rights Umbrella.

"Human rights advocates in Somaliland have welcomed this sentence, which can become a solution to halting the increased rape," Hussein told Sabahi. "To find a solution, we are calling on the houses of parliament to create a strong law to combat rape offences."

At least six gang-rape cases in Hargeisa have been registered in the last two weeks, Hussein said.

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