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In first for Somalia, DNA used to convict rapists

AFP  |  Mogadishu 

has for the first time used DNA evidence to obtain a criminal conviction, sentencing three men to death Sunday for the gang-and murder of a 12-year-old girl, the Bureau of said.

The country got its first-ever forensic laboratory in 2017 in the semiautonomous state of Puntland, seeking to tackle widespread sexual violence in a country where two decades of conflict and turmoil have put justice out of reach for most.

The bureau said in a statement that had "joined, for the first time, the rest of the world in utilising science to solve a heinous criminal case".

In February, the kidnapping of 12-year-old Adan -- who was gang-raped and tortured to death, her body dumped outside her parents home -- sparked outrage and protests in the region.

has described as "normal" in Somalia, with police often failing to take cases seriously.

The state government enacted a Sexual Offences Act in 2016, which criminalised sexual offences and imposed tough penalties.

The central government in is still working on adopting Somalia's first-ever national laws, with a new Sexual Offences Act adopted by ministers in May 2018. It still needs approval by parliament.

About 10 suspects were arrested in connection with Adan's rape and murder.

State prosecutors said 37 DNA samples were taken from the suspects and stored in the lab, which cannot at present analyse such material.

The samples were sent to neighbouring for processing, which linked three of the suspects to the

on Sunday sentenced the three "to the death penalty for kidnapping, raping, and murdering " In Somalia, the death penalty is carried out by firing squad.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 13 2019. 17:01 IST