Puntland Attorney General: Courts handled 123 rape cases in 2016

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Hiran Media Center
Saturday February 18, 2017


Puntland Attorney General Mohamed Hassan Aw-Osman. 

Bosasso (HMC) –  Puntland’s Attorney General revealed statistics on how his government has handled rape cases last year.

AG Mohamed Hassan Aw-Osman said that the semiautonomous region handled 123 rapes. He also added that over 100 individuals are in the Puntland court system awaiting trial for sexual assault cases.

The Bari region recorded 58 cases of sexual assault last year, the highest of any region in Puntland.

Here is a breakdown of where the cases were tried in Puntland according to the Attorney General.

1.    Bari region 58 cases
2.    Karkaar 26
3.    Mudug 13
4.    Nugaal 11
5.    Haylan 9
6.    Sanaag 4
7.    Cayn 2

Earlier this year, Puntland was under international spotlight over it’s handling of a controversial rape case that occurred in Galdogob. Puntland officials pushed to have the case heard in a Mudug regional court in Galkayo; elders from Galdogob overwhelmingly rejected the extradition.

Six men were accused of gang-raping and violently assaulting a 16-year old girl and her friend after kidnapping the pair off the street. A video, filmed by the perpetrators in an attempt to keep the girl from speaking out was leaked online and repulsed millions of Somali’s at home and abroad.

A sharia court that convened in Galdogob found five of the six men guilty of rape and were sentenced to a combination of lashes, fines and prison sentences. A sixth man was found not guilty by the same court. 

News of the sentences drew mixed reactions. Anti-rape advocates have called on the government to implement the law to the letter. Others were glad to see that the victims were held accountable, a rarity in Somalia were rapists seldom face justice.

Puntland recently enacted a law criminalizing sexual assault under the Sexual Offense Act in December 2016, a first in Somalia. Under that law, a  convicted rapist could receive up to a 30-year prison sentence. However cooperation with local elders as hindered the implication of the law.