Somalia stoning: A story that left me reeling in shock and sadness

Although I work on human rights issues every day at Amnesty, there are some cases which leave me with pure sadness. And this latest story from Somalia is one such incident.

You may have seen reports last week that a woman was stoned to death for committing adultery in Somalia – the first such execution for two years.

Well just a few days ago, Amnesty learned that it was actually a 13-year-old girl called Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, and not a 22-year-old woman, as reports had first suggested – and that she had been raped by three men before being executed in this horrific way.

As the Guardian reports, the teenager’s father had actually tried to report that she had been raped, but instead she was accused of committing adultery – and was punished by being stoned to death, in front of hundreds of people in the stadium.

The Sunday Mirror reports how 50 men took up stones to kill Aisha – and when some witnesses tried to save her life, the armed militia group – called al-Shabab which control this region of Somalia – opened fire, killing a young boy who was a bystander.

The lack of stability and security in Somalia, which is exacerbated by the ongoing conflict, is one of the reasons why such dreadful abuses are allowed to persist in this region.

Much more needs to be done internationally to investigate and document these abuses and take further action to protect ordinary people – like Aisha – in Somalia.

This Thursday Amnesty’s publishing a new report detailing the wave of attacks against humanitarian workers, peace activists and rights defenders across the region.  The report will highlight how people are still being attacked and how little attention is being drawn to their situation.

Next week Tuesday (11 Nov) two visiting Somali human rights activists will be speaking at an event here at Amnesty’s Human Rights Action Centre in Shoreditch. Do come along if you can to hear their first-hand accounts of life in Somalia at the moment.

Yule E

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