Court Acquits 6 Men Accused Of Raping a woman in Puntland

A court Somalia’s northeastern region, Puntland has acquitted all six persons charged with rape and murder on Thursday.

The judge noted that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the six men raped and killed the woman.

Hodan, a mother of two children was brutally raped and killed on 11, April last year in Garowe city when a group of men raided her house while she was alone.

“I find that the circumstantial evidence relied upon by the prosecution was insufficient to establish that the rape and murder of Hodan Shanleyste was a case of murder perpetrated by these six accused persons. I will, as the law requires, give a benefit of considerable doubt established by the facts in the counsel’s submissions,” said the judge.

Somalia’s northern Puntland region passed a landmark law in 2016 criminalizing sex crimes such as gang rape but campaigners say police in the conservative region are either unaware of it or do not see violence against women as a serious crime.