By T. Roble
The family of the teenager who was allegedly raped and thrown off the window from a high rise building in Mogadishu had just passed her exams and was waiting to enroll in the university, her aunt has said.
The aunt, who did not wish to be named told Goobjoog News the deceased, identified by police as Hamdi Mohamed Farah had on the fateful Friday said she was going to do some cleaning at her grandmother’s house. They had breakfast together before she left.
At between 2 and 3 pm, the aunt said, “I received a call that Hamdi has been raped and killed.”
The visibly distraught aunt who fought back tears as she spoke described Hamdi as a diligent and hardworking girl. “She passed well in the just-released form four exams and was to join university,” she said.
DREAM CUT SHORT
Hamdi has been living with her aunt for ten years now and attending school in Mogadishu. In her room in Daynile district in Mogadishu where she lived with her aunt, there is an affirmation of her aunt’s testament-tidy and her books meticulously stacked on wall. Hamdi had her sights on a better life ahead-perhaps to pursue higher education and later return a hand of thank you to her aunt, her siblings and parents.
The Ministry of Women and Human Rights condemned the act calling a ‘grave violation of our laws and the principle of protection of the vulnerable but also out constitutional and Islamic values’.
Though the Ministry went ahead to mention the deceased’s name, it termed it ‘criminal to post names and images on the social media’.
Hamdi’s dad traveled from El-Buur in Galgadud region of central Somalia where the rest of the family live. He did not speak to the media.
According to a police report seen by Goobjoog News, Hamdi was 19 years old. Goobjoog News, on an ethical ground will not publish the identity of the mother. However, it has, that of the deceased as the privacy rule has been overridden an already wide publicity rule. Police said they got information at about 2pm local time that a body of a woman had been spotted outside an apartment building and positively identified as that of Hamdi.
Four suspects have since been arrested by police. According to initial accounts gathered by Goobjoog News, there were six men in the apartment who are suspected to have gang-raped the deceased and shoved off her body through the window from the sixth floor. Sources added the deceased had been invited by one of the men who is said to have been a friend prior to the incident.
Hamdi’s case adds to an increasing statistic of young women sexually abused and murdered in the most gruesome form in Somalia. In January 2019, a 12-year-old girl widely identified as Aisha Aden was abducted one evening while from a nearby shop, gang-raped, and subsequently murdered. The incident sparked uproar locally and internationally putting pressure on the Somali government to act.
The four offenders save for one faced the firing squad in June after they were found guilty by a court in Puntland for the horrid act. Among the four criminals were two brothers. One was spared in a ‘blood money’ deal as the other took the bullet in a public firing execution.
Blood money arrangements is an age-old dispute resolution mechanism among Somalis where the offending family is forced to pay a certain amount of money and camels to the victim’s family.
She passed well in the just-released form four exams and was to join university.
Even with the rising cases of rape and murder in Somalia, lawmakers have stalled prospects of criminalizing such acts and hopefully taming them. A Sexual Offenses Bill (SoB) tabled by the cabinet in the Lower House in mid-2018 was trashed by MPs who went ahead to sneak in another controversial one last month dubbed Sexual Penetration and Related Crimes Bill. The Bill has since been roundly criticized locally and internationally as it seeks to legalise child marriage.
In its statement in response to Hamdi’s murder, the Ministry of Human Rights has called on parliament to expedite the passage of the SoB it submitted to it in 2018.