Mali: unwed couple stoned to death - a 'gruesome and horrific act'

Responding to reports that an unwed couple has been stoned to death in a town in northern Mali, Amnesty International’s Deputy Africa Director Paule Rigaud said:

"Amnesty condemns this gruesome and horrific act of stoning. This killing is yet another human rights abuse committed by the combatants who control the north of Mali, and illustrates the climate of fear that armed opposition groups have created within the areas they control.”

Amnesty International has documented incidences of abuses carried out by armed groups in Mali on people to change their behaviour in accordance with their fundamentalist interpretation of Islam.

The new behaviours being enforced include dress codes for both Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and men, the banning of all music except religious music and forbidding of people of opposite sexes if unmarried to sit next to each other on a bus or to walk the streets together.

The imposition of these new behaviours has been accompanied by intimidation and physical violence including deliberate and arbitrary killings.

Amnesty International experts are available for interview.

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