Friday July 16, 2021
By MILDRED EUROPA TAYLOR
Hussein Adan Ali executed. Photo: SNTV News
A man sentenced to death for raping his three-year-old stepdaughter has been executed by firing squad in southern Somalia’s Jubaland state. BBC reports that the man, Hussein Adan Ali, had been chewing khat leaves, a mild stimulant, when he sexually assaulted the child.
It is currently not known when the incident took place but the child died on Wednesday of injuries. 28-year-old Ali was found guilty during the court session in Dhobley town Wednesday. The court session was televised but it did not show if lawyers were present or if the accused was given an opportunity to appeal.
Court officials and traditional clan elders reviewed the evidence before their ruling. The court said the death sentence given was permitted under Islamic law.
The execution of Ali is one of many in Somalia, which is still holding on to the death penalty. Only about 20 countries in Africa have abolished the death penalty with Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan and Somalia still practicing executions.
Capital punishment is on the decline across Africa and though rights groups are still urging other African countries to ban the death penalty, certain countries have been justifying it. In 2018, Botswana, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan used the measure. Somalia used it the most largely due to terrorism-related crimes, according to Amnesty International.
In February 2020, two men were publicly executed by firing squad for the gang rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl in Somalia. Aisha Ilyas Adan went missing for a few hours in February 2019 and was later found dumped near her house in Galkayo, Puntland region after she was gang-raped, tortured and murdered.
Her rape and killing sparked protests and rage among Somalis and the diaspora who demanded justice for her.
Ten men were arrested in connection with the case and samples taken linked three men to the murder and rape while the other seven were acquitted.
Their trial became the first televised rape trial in Somalia and the first in which DNA was used to obtain a conviction, according to VOA.
Currently, most countries in Africa still have the death sentence on the law books but do not enforce it as convicts often have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.