13-Year-Old Somali Girl Stoned to Death
Posted by shadmia on November 6, 2008
This is the story of a 13-year-old Somali girl named Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow. She was raped by three men. She reported the rape, even naming the perpetrators. Instead of receiving at least a sympathetic hearing she was accused of adultery and sentenced to death……by stoning.
Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was stoned to death on October 27, 2008 by 50 men in a stadium packed with 1,000 spectators in the southern port city of Chisimaio (Kismayo), Somalia. She died pleading for her life, buried up to her neck in a hole in the ground. She was shown no mercy; not by the 50 men who stoned her to death nor the 1000+ people who gathered to witness the execution.
This is a story about things that should never have happened. It reminds all of us that in some parts of the world justice is a foreign concept. Brutality rules supreme and those that hold power can and will make life and death decisions with impunity, regardless of the truth and without investigating the facts.
“This is a tragic and deplorable incident,” said Christian Balslev-Olesen, UNICEF Representative for Somalia. “A child was victimized twice, first by the perpetrators of the rape and then by those responsible for administering justice.”
“Authorities and institutions of civil society have a role to play in supporting and protecting the rights of every child,” Balslev-Olesen said, noting that this killing reflects the great effort that must be undertaken to protect the rights of Somali girls and women.
There was some confusion over Aisha’s age. Initial reports claimed that she was 23 years old, based solely on her physical appearance. Her actual age, 13, was confirmed to Amnesty International by other sources including her father.
“This was not justice, nor was it an execution. This child suffered a horrendous death at the behest of the armed opposition groups who currently control Kismayo,” said David Copeman, Amnesty International’s Somalia Campaigner.
“This killing is yet another human rights abuse committed by the combatants to the conflict in Somalia, and again demonstrates the importance of international action to investigate and document such abuses, through an International Commission of Inquiry.”
According to reports Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was walking on the road, traveling to see her grandmother in the capital Mogadishu, when she was attacked and raped by three men. She attempted to report the rape to the al-Shabab militia who control Kismayo. It was this act that inexplicably resulted in her being accused of adultery and detained. None of men she accused of rape were arrested.
In their defense court authorities said the woman came to them admitting her guilt. She was asked several times to review her confession but she stressed that she wanted Sharia law and the deserved punishment to apply, they said.
Eyewitnesses said Aisha was taken to a football stadium to be stoned. She was crying. She had to be forced into the hole that had been prepared for her. She was buried up to her neck.
She asked them “What do you want from me?” They said: “We will do what Allah has instructed us”. She said: “I’m not going, I’m not going. Don’t kill me, don’t kill me.”
That was when 50 men began to stone her. There were more than 1000 people on hand to witness it. According to Amnesty International, nurses were sent to check during the stoning whether the victim was still alive. They removed her from the hole and reported back that she was still alive. Aisha was then placed back in the hole and the stoning resumed until she was finally dead.
Somalia is among the world’s most violent and impoverished countries. The nation of some 8 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 age 5; nearly every public institution has collapsed. Fighting is a daily occurrence, with violent deaths reported nearly every day.