UN condemns stoning to death of teenage girl in Somalia

November 8th, 2008 - 4:20 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Nov 8 (DPA) The United Nations Friday condemned the killing of a 13-year-old girl under an order by local Somali leaders, who accused her of adultery after she was raped and sought their protection.Unicef, the UN Children’s Fund, said Aisha Duhulow was stoned to death in a stadium in Kismayo Oct 27 while thousands of people watched.

Duhulow was raped by three men while travelling on foot to visit her grandmother in the capital Mogadishu. She asked local Islamic leaders for protection. But they turned against her, accused her of adultery and sentenced her to death, Unicef and news reports said.

The incident shocked the world - but the UN reaction was slow to come. Somalia is considered a lawless country and among the world’s poorest.

“The incident highlights the extreme nature of violence against children and women in Somalia, which has been heightened by the increasing lawlessness,” said Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN special representative for children and armed conflict.

She condemned the death sentence against the girl and called for better protection of children in Somalia. She said children in conflict zones have been used by all warring parties and are often maimed and killed.

“It is the duty of the international community and the local authorities to stop these violations and to ensure better protection for children,” she said.

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