On Friday 11th September, the body of a young woman who would later be identified as Hamdi Mohamed Farah was found dead in the Waberi district of Mogadishu, Somalia. Hamdi was gang-raped and thrown off of a six-story building which resulted in her death.
When reports of Hamdi’s brutal death surfaced on the media, scores of people in Mogadishu took to the streets to demand justice for her.
The Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development of the Federal Government of Somalia released a statement on the crime condemning it “in strongest terms possible”.
Hamdi was buried hours after her body was found, which meant that it is highly unlikely that a thorough forensic investigation took place in order to accurately identify her killers.
Despite the perceived inability of both the central and regional governments to address sexual violence in Somalia, legislation has been drafted that would properly address and criminalize sexual offences such as rape and gender-based violence. On 30th May 2018, the Council of Ministers in Somalia unanimously adopted the Sexual Offences Bill. Although a significant milestone, the Somali parliament convened on August 8th 2020 to discuss the introduction of the highly controversial “Sexual Intercourse Bill” which would legalize child marriages.
According to the spokesperson for the Somali Police Force Sadiq Adan Duudishe, four suspects are currently in custody.
[Photo courtesy of Radio Dalsan]