ANOTHER POST ON A POSSIBLE UNJUST STONING: Please read my 7/7/10 post about Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani, a 42-year-old Iranian mother unjustly accused of adultery who is scheduled to die at any moment by stoning.
While walking to see her grandmother in Mogadishu, Somalia, Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was raped by three men. She reported it to the al-Shabab militia, hoping for justice. Instead, she was accused of adultery under Shariah, the legal code of Islam based on the Koran, and was sentenced to die. None of the men who raped her have been arrested or brought to justice.
On October 27, 13-year-old Aisha pleaded for her life and struggled before being buried up to her neck in a hole in a stadium in the port city of Kismayu, which is held by rebels. A relative and others surged forward to try and save her and the militia opened fire, killing a small boy. A truckload of stones was brought in. Fifty Islamist militants threw stones at her while 1,000 people watched her die. She was removed from the hole three times and even when a nurse confirmed that she was dead, her body was put back in the hole and the stoning continued.
The UN News Service reports about this incident:
Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, issued a statement condemning the killing and calling for better protection for children in Somalia, which remains beset by widespread fighting. “The incident highlights the extreme nature of violence against children and women in Somalia, which has been heightened by the increasing lawlessness,” she said.
Amnesty International has campaigned to end the use of the punishment of stoning, calling it gruesome and horrific. This killing of Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow demonstrates the cruelty and the inherent discrimination against women of this punishment.
The reports on this killing should be understood within the climate of fear that armed insurgent groups such as al-Shabab have created within the areas they control in Somalia. As Amnesty International has documented previously, government officials, journalists and human rights defenders face death threats and killing if they are perceived to have spoken against al-Shabab, who have waged a campaign of intimidation against the Somali people through such killings.
Since the death, a number of individuals have told Amnesty International they have fled from Kismayo out of fear of suffering a similar fate to Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow.
I lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1979 and 1980. There was a contraband movie making the rounds about 19-year-old Saudi Princess Mishaal bint Fahd al Saud who was killed by her family to save the “honor” of the family because she had sex with her fiance. The people living in my compound got a copy of this explosive movie and we secretly watched it. I don’t remember the details of the movie; I do remember that I was horrified and also frightened of being found watching it.
These are not isolated incidents, but what happened to this young girl is not sanctioned by Muslims. It is not honor to kill a young woman who has suffered terribly through no fault of her own at the hands of other people. This is an outrageous, heinous, incredibly disturbing, and senseless act of violence.
Let us remember Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow and the many other women and children who suffer senselessly around the world at the hands of ruthless terrorists, insurgents, and even family members.