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Monday, November 03, 2008

Shabaab and Islamic Courts Justice - Stoning Rape Victim

Somali Stoned to Death Was 13-Year-Old Rape Victim, Group Says
By Hamsa Omar

Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) -- A 13-year-old rape victim in Somalia was stoned to death last week after being accused of adultery in breach of Islamic law, Amnesty International said, citing her father and other unidentified people.

Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was killed by a group of 50 men in a stadium in the southern port of Kismayo on Oct. 27 in front of 1,000 spectators, the London-based human rights group said in an e-mailed statement on Oct. 31.

Yusuf Abdi Mohamed, who witnessed the execution, told Bloomberg News on Oct. 28 that Duhulow was a 23-year-old woman who had confessed to adultery.

"She had in fact been raped by three men and had attempted to report this rape to the al-Shabaab militia, which controls Kismayo,'' Amnesty said. ``It was this act that resulted in her being accused of adultery and detained.

None of the men she accused of rape was arrested.''

Somalia is in its 18th year of civil war and hasn't had a functioning central administration since the ouster of former dictator Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991. Violence has escalated since Ethiopian troops helped Somalia's United Nations-backed government oust the Islamic Courts Union militia from southern and central parts of the country in January 2007.

Last week's stoning was the first such execution in Kismayo since the Islamist al-Shabaab movement captured the city in August and established Shariah courts. Shariah law operates under a code of Islamic principles first established in the Arab world by the prophet Muhammad in the seventh century.

Amnesty said that some of the Somali journalists who earlier reported Duhulow was 23 had said this age was an estimate based on her physical appearance.

Sheikh Hayakalah, the Sharia court judge, said in remarks broadcast on Radio Shabelle, a Mogadishu-based broadcaster, that Duhulow had officially confirmed her guilt and was ``happy with the punishment under Islamic law.''

``In contradiction to this claim, a number of eyewitnesses have told Amnesty International she struggled with her captors and had to be forcibly carried into the stadium,'' Amnesty said.
The organization said al-Shabaab has created a climate of ``extreme fear'' within the areas the militia controls in Somalia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hamsa Omar in Mogadishu via Johannesburg at

The Rest @ Bloomberg

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