Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Stoning Death of 13-Year-Old Girl

Link: Original Article
November 2, 2008
A girl who said she was gang raped has been stoned to death in Somalia for alleged adultery, a human rights group has said.

Dozens of men reportedly pelted the 13-year-old Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow with rocks in a stadium packed with 1,000 spectators in Kismayo. Amnesty International said the Islamic militia in charge of the city had accused her of adultery after she reported that three men had raped her. Initial reports said Duhulow was 23, but her father told Amnesty that she was just 13. Some of the Somali journalists who first reported the killing later admitted they had judged her to be 23 based upon her physical appearance.

Somalia is among the world's most violent and impoverished countries.
The nation of some eight million people has not had a functioning government since warlords overthrew a dictator in 1991 then turned on each other.

A quarter of Somali children die before they are five years old. Nearly every public institution has collapsed. Fighting is a daily occurrence, with violent deaths reported nearly every day. Islamic militants with ties to al Qaeda have been battling the government and its Ethiopian allies since their combined forces pushed the Islamists from the capital in December 2006.

Within weeks of being driven out, the Islamists launched an insurgency that has killed thousands of civilians. In recent months, the militants have appeared to be gaining strength. The group has taken over the port of Kismayo, Somalia's third-largest city, and dismantled pro-government roadblocks.

Tuesday October 28, 2008
A woman accused of adultery has been stoned to death by Islamists in Somalia.

The 23-year-old woman was buried up to her neck in front of hundreds of people in a square in Kismayu and stones were hurled at her head. She was dragged out of the hole three times to see if she was dead. When a relative and others surged forward to rescue her, guards opened fire and killed a child.

It is thought to be the first such public killing by the militants for about two years. Witness Abdullahi Aden said: "A woman in green veil and black mask was brought in a car as we waited to watch the merciless act of stoning.

We were told she submitted herself to be punished, yet we could see her screaming as she was forcefully bound, legs and hands.
Witness Abdullahi Aden

"A relative of hers ran towards her, but the Islamists opened fire and killed a child."

The Islamists last carried out public executions when they ruled Mogadishu and most of south Somalia for half of 2006. They were toppled by allied Ethiopian and Somali government forces at the end of that year, but they have taken back land by waging an Iraq-style guerrilla campaign.

In parts, they are welcomed for the security they bring, but they are also imposing fundamentalist practices like banning entertainment seen as anti-Islamic. Islamists said the woman, named as Asha Ibrahim Dhuhulow, wanted punishment under Sharia law. Local leader Sheikh Hayakallah said:

"She was asked several times to review her confession but she stressed that she wanted Sharia law and the deserved punishment to apply."
But her sister, who asked not to be named, said: "The stoning was totally irreligious and illogical.
"Islam does not execute a woman for adultery unless four witnesses and the man with whom she committed sex are brought forward publicly."

Islamist leaders at the execution said the woman had breached Islamic law and promised to punish the guard who had shot the child in the melee around the execution.

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