A blood-curdling incident of unimaginable violence has come to light in Mogadishu, Somalia. 19-year old Hamdi Mohamed Farah, a student who was all set to enter college, was invited by one of her friends to visit him at a location in the Wabari district of Mogadishu. When she got there, more than 11 men attacked and gang-raped her. The criminals didn't stop with this dastardly act. They, afterward, threw the girl from the sixth floor and ended her life.
Shock and anger are running through the troubled country of Somalia as demands for the strictest possible punishment are being voiced by everyone, from religious groups to women's rights advocacy activists.
The police have already acted on the case and apprehended 11 men who were part of the assault on the victim. However, the authorities also say that more men might have been involved and may be caught in the following days.
"We have arrested 11 people over the recent rape case in Wabari neighborhood in Mogadishu and efforts to track and identify other suspects are ongoing," the official statement from police read.
Somalia, a predominantly Muslim nation, has seen the religious organizations also call for speedy justice in the case. Sheikh Bashir Ahmed Salad, head of the religious council in Somalia, had this to say: "I and other religious leaders are demanding of the government that it should conduct a serious investigation into this rape case. Hamdi and her family need justice."
The incident has drawn the attention of international bodies also. Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, also commented on the horrific rape-murder of the 19-year old girl. However, she went further than just mentioning this case and noted with concern a rise in crimes against women within Somalia.
Senior politicians also expressed their outrage at the horrific incident. Both government ministers and opposition leaders condemned the crime and called for strict action. However, the problem of crimes against women is a long-standing one in this unstable country.
Considered as a part of the larger Arab world, Somalia's record on women's rights hasn't been much different from other countries of the region. This case may just be the wake-up call needed to bring changes at both the societal and legal levels for fighting this problem.