WHAT YOU CAN DOYou can write a letter to the representatives of Somalia, the African Union, and various UN human rights offices to encourage them to take action by investigating this murder, bringing the perpetrators to justice, and denouncing the actions of these insurgents.
Subject: Subject: Stoning of Asha Ibrahim Dhuhulow in Somalia
Dear [Sir / Madam],
We are deeply concerned to learn about the stoning to death of Aisha Ibrahim Dhuhulow, a 13 year old Somali girl who was publically tortured and murdered Monday October 27 2008 in the local square in Kismayu, Somalia.
Accused of adultery, Aisha Ibrahim Dhuhulow was buried up to her neck in front of around 1000 people while stones were hurled at her head. Witnesses to the stoning said the militants, known as al-Shabaab, accused the woman of adultery and extracted a confession. Although all standard interpretations of “sharia” (or, collections of various Muslim laws and their interpretations) dictate that adultery must be proven by four eye witnesses in a court of law, the Somali Concern Group reported that the killing was extra-judicial, and that the woman did not receive a trial.
Stoning is not mentioned anywhere in the Quran and is considered by many respected Muslim scholars to be un-Islamic. Many Muslim nations such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Tunisia, Algeria and others have banned death by stoning. Despite calls for abolition from around the globe, stoning still occurs in several countries, either under law or by the community.
Members of al-Shabaab apparently publicized the execution, killing the woman in front of hundreds of people at the town square. When a relative and others pushed forward to rescue the victim, guards opened fire, killing a child. Islamist leaders have reportedly apologized for killing the child, but offered no such repentance for the stoning of Dhuhulow.
Stoning is a grave and serious violation of International Human Rights Law. Stoning breeches the International Convention of Civil and Political Rights (1966). Somalia acceded to the convention in 1990.
Article 6 of the ICCPR states that “in countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes”, of which adultery is not.
Article 7 of the ICCPR states that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. This last injunction is reinforced in the 1985 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) to which Somalia acceded in 1990.
Although the killing was carried out by non-state insurgents, Article 2 of the CAT states that “each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.”
Somalia is one of the only countries in the world that has not signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
We encourage you to use your influence and authority to promote and preserve human rights, peace and security in the region. We urge a prompt and impartial investigation into this grave case. Members of al-Shabaab as well as every individual who took part in the stoning must be brought to justice, and the African Union should take due diligence in taking every possible measure in order to prevent any such violation of women’s human rights from reoccurring.
We thank you for your urgent attention to this matter.
[Your name / your organization]
Representatives of Somalia
The Somali Prime Minister OfficeHE.
African Union HeadquartersP.O. Box 3243, Roosevelt Street (Old Airport Area)W21K19, Addis Ababa, EthiopiaFax: +251 11 551 78 44
Social Affairs CommissionerAdv. Bience P. GawanasFax: +251 11 550 49 85
Directorate of Peace and SecurityMr Geofrey MugumyaFax: +251 11-552 58 email@example.com
Directorate of Women, Gender and DevelopmentMrs. Litha Musyimi-OganaFax: +251 11-551 78 firstname.lastname@example.org
United Nations Human Rights Bodies
Ms. Yakin ErturkSpecial Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Its Causes and ConsequencesOffice of the UN High Commissioner for Human RightsPalais des NationsCH-1211 Geneva 10SwitzerlandFax: +41 22 917 email@example.com
Mr. Manfred NowakSpecial Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or PunishmentOffice of the UN High Commissioner for Human RightsPalais des NationsCH-1211 Geneva 10SwitzerlandFax: +41 22 917 firstname.lastname@example.org
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Womenc/o Division for the Advancement of Women, Department of Economic and Social AffairsUnited Nations Secretariat2 United Nations PlazaDC-2/12th FloorNew York, NY 10017United States of AmericaFax: + 1-212-963-3463
Ms. Navanethem PillayOffice of the High Commissioner for Human RightsUnited Nations Office at Geneva1211 Geneva 10, SwitzerlandFax: + 41 22 9179022
Ms Yanghee LeeCommittee on the Rights of the ChildOffice of the High Commissioner for Human RightsUnited Nations Office at Geneva1211 Geneva 10, SwitzerlandFax: + 41 22 9179022
Please also copy all correspondence to email@example.com
Somalia: Woman stoned to death for adultery29/10/2008: Somali Islamists have stoned to death a woman accused of adultery, witnesses said, the first such public killing by the militants for about two years. (Independent / Reuters)
The woman was placed in a hole up to her neck for the execution late yesterday in front of hundreds of people in a square in the southern port of Kismayu, which the Islamist insurgents captured in August.
Stones were hurled at her head and she was pulled out three times to see if she was dead, witnesses said. When a relative and others surged forward, guards opened fire, killing a child.
“A woman in green veil and black mask was brought in a car as we waited to watch the merciless act of stoning,” one local resident, Abdullahi Aden, told Reuters.
“We were told she submitted herself to be punished, yet we could see her screaming as she was forcefully bound, legs and hands. A relative of hers ran towards her, but the Islamists opened fire and killed a child.”
The European Union’s presidency condemned the stoning.
“The EU … condemns a particularly vile execution, which the Islamist insurgents who took control of the city deliberately publicised,” it said in a statement.
The Islamists last carried out public executions when they ruled Mogadishu and most of south Somalia for half of 2006. Allied Ethiopian and Somali government forces toppled them at the end of that year, but they have waged an Iraq-style guerrilla campaign since then, gradually taking territory back.
As when they ruled Mogadishu in 2006, the Islamists now controlling the Kismayu area are again providing much-needed security, but also imposing fundamentalist practices such as banning forms of entertainment seen as anti-Islamic.
Relatives of the woman executed in Kismayu, whom they named as Asha Ibrahim Dhuhulow, were furious.
“The stoning was totally irreligious and illogical,” said her sister, who asked not to be named. “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 broken Islamic law. They promised to punish the guard who had shot the child in the melee around the execution.
“We apologise for killing the child. And we promise we shall bring the one who opened fire before the courts and deal with him accordingly,” one unnamed Islamist leader told the crowd.
28 October 2008
Source: The Independent / Reuters
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The threat is from violent extremists who are a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, the threat is real. They distort Islam. They kill man, woman and child; Christian and Hindu, Jew and Muslim. They seek to create a repressive caliphate. To defeat this enemy, we must understand who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for.