Aisha Illyas’s killers sentenced to death by firing squad

The Supreme Court of Puntland sentenced three men to death by firing squad for the murder of Aisha Ilyas. The men were sentenced to death in May for raping, torturing and murdering 12-year-old Aisha and were given 30 days to appeal the sentence.

An appeal court in the Nugaal region of Puntland declared on the 22nd of August that the death sentence would be upheld. The men, two of whom are brothers, received their final sentencing after months of investigation into Aisha’s case. 

Aisha’s case set the precedent in how forensic science is used in criminal cases in Somalia. The Bureau of Forensic Science of Garowe, Puntland successfully matched the DNA found at the crime scene with the DNA of the three suspects. This was the first case in Somalia’s history where criminals were caught with the help of DNA samples.

In late February, Aisha went missing after running an errand for her mother. Her body was found the next morning near her house, showing signs of brutal rape.

The parliament of Puntland passed the Sexual Offences Bill in 2016, criminalising all sexual offences in the region.

The death sentence will be carried out by firing squad once approved by the regional president Said Abdullahi Deni.

*This article was originally posted on our previous website on 23rd August 2019.

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