Press Release: Condemnation of Stoning to Death of Asha Ibrahim Dhuhulow
29 October 2008
The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women! (SKSW) strongly condemns the stoning to death of Asha Ibrahim Dhuhulow, a 13 year old Somali girl who was publically tortured and murdered Monday in the local square in Kismayu, Somalia.
Accused of adultery, Asha Ibrahim Dhuhulow was buried up to her neck in front of hundreds of people while stones were hurled at her head. She was dragged out of the hole three times to see if she was dead.
Somali Islamist insurgents captured the southern port of Kismayu in August of this year. 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 Muslim laws,) 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 Muslim scholars to be un-Islamic.
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.”
We urge the state of Somalia to ensure 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 Somali state should take due diligence in taking every possible measure in order to prevent any such violation of women’s human rights from reoccurring.
Furthermore, the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women! urges all militias, insurgents, independent armies and other non-state actors in Somalia to respect the human rights of civilians in their communities and unequivocally condemn the practice of stoning.
For more information, please go to stop-stoning.org
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