Pakistan’s ‘illegitimate daughters’

By Gulmina Bilal Ahmad

Why is there not an uproar for the woes of the daughters of Pakistan who were stoned in Swat and, presently, in Orakzai Agency? Daughters like Mukhtaran Mai, of course, are not comparable with American daughters of Pakistani origin like Aafia because, perhaps, the former are illegitimate

A cartoon is truly worth a thousand columns, protests and articles. This week, a cartoon proclaiming Faisal Shahzad to be the ‘son of Pakistan’ said it all. As expected, every visible and invisible beard in the country is falling over backwards to appear more enraged than the other over the imagined slight. Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the proclaimed daughter of Islam, the ummah and Pakistan, has already succeeded in igniting passion and indignation in the country. At the time of writing these words, the Afghan Taliban have already kidnapped a British development worker from Afghanistan as a “means of revenge for Aafia”. Calls for walks and protests have been given by parliamentarians who have already staged the first walk against the sentence. There have even been calls by some circles to sever ties with the US and NATO over the pronouncement of a sentence to this ‘daughter’. Interestingly, the MQM has declared that if they were in government, they
would have severed all diplomatic relations with the US. The question that begs to be answered is: if they are not in the government, then who is? But I digress.

The newspapers are full of reports about the statements coming from Aafia’s family. Such is the self-assessed interest of the media in this issue that one of the papers ran a front page story on who Aafia’s family is talking to and who is being denied this honour. Apparently, the decision at the highest level has also been taken to send a parliamentary delegation to the US, including Dr Aafia’s sister, to lodge a protest. This is in addition to flying in her team of lawyers and her US-based brother — at the government’s expense — to Pakistan to ‘consult’ with the government over the next course of action. The government’s expense, of course, means that while there is no money for higher education, there is a lot of money to bail out non-Pakistani Muslim daughters running amuck.

Steps to bring this daughter of Islam and Pakistan back home, wherever home might be, might be necessary according to some. Perhaps, Aafia’s case should be pursued but one fails to understand why there is discrimination amongst the siblings. While the parliamentarians walk behind the opposition leader for Aafia, why do we not hear calls of “we will not rest easily” until the missing persons that have been ‘missing’ for years within Pakistan are located? Why is there not an uproar for the woes of the daughters of Pakistan who were stoned in Swat and, presently, in Orakzai Agency? Or, perhaps, the two daughters of the ummah who were buried alive in Balochistan after dogs were set after them. Daughters like Mukhtaran Mai, of course, are not comparable with American daughters of Pakistani origin like Aafia because, perhaps, the former are illegitimate.

At the time of writing these words, there are 7,000 women and children residing in 75 jails in the country. Out of these, 1,500 are in dismal conditions. According to the National Commission for the Status of Women (NCSW), 88 percent of the female prisoners are in jail only because of the ambiguities in the Zina Ordinance. However, parliamentarians do not stage walks for them, no commissions are sent anywhere in the country, no one meets their families and their ordeal is not a slap on anyone’s face simply because they are illegitimate. Legitimacy, it seems, only comes from Aafia.

A word of caution on the subject of daughters, legitimate or otherwise. Those who declare that Aafia is the daughter of Islam, Pakistan and the Muslim ummah, should remember, then, who their sons-in-law are. Aafia’s husband Mr Ammar al Baluchi is the nephew of Mr Khalid Sheikh Mohammed of 9/11 fame. We all have unsavoury uncles who get mixed up in the wrong company but investigation has revealed some roads leading to the nephew too. A detainee at the Guantanamo Bay, the son-in-law of the Muslim ummah was allegedly involved in financing the 9/11 attacks. If the trial of Aafia is “a slap on the whole Islamic world”, according to Altaf Hussain, then the trial of her husband should qualify as a slap on one side of the face at the very least.

Speaking of trials, the very characters present within the ‘Aafia mafia’, as columnist Fasi Zaka puts it, are also the ones who are sworn supporters of judicial supremacy. Food for thought for them as they endure the long wait till October 13: do they believe in the supremacy of the judiciary only in Pakistan? Dr Aafia was tried. Evidence was presented against her and the judiciary has spoken. How has this judicial decision become a fight between Islam and the West?

When will we learn? This is not a fight between Islam and the West just as militant groups do not represent anything more than the Wahabiist funded, inspired, encouraged, and promoted brand of bigotry. Just this year, a total of 9,009 civilians died in terrorist attacks, along with a total of 3,215 security personnel and 19,019 terrorists. This brings us to a total of 31,243 Pakistanis who died just this year because of the twisted worldviews that they want to impose on all of us. This is opposed to a total of 189 deaths in total in 2003, 863 in 2004, 648 in 2005, 1,471 in 2006, 3,590 in 2007, 6,715 in 2008 and 11,704 in 2009. In other words, a total of 56,431 have died in the last seven years. Yet, we declare that this war is not ours. If it was not previously, perhaps it is high time that it should be now. For the person sitting in San Francisco or Paris, militant groups and their apologists pose a terrorist threat. For us in Pakistan, it is terrorist
reality.

The writer is an Islamabad-based consultant. She can be reached at : coordinator@individualland.com

– Posted to CMKP Digest Number 2261 by “Andreanos” shafique100@yahoo.com
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100 Cities Around the World Against Stoning

The Statement of the protest action of August 28, 2010 by

On August 28, 2010 one hundred cities around the world are rising up to protest the barbaric practice of stoning, as well as to save the life of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani in Iran. This day will be recorded in the annals of humanity as a manifestation of the protest, during the prior weeks, by millions of people across the globe against stoning as the most heinous form of medieval cruelty. It is a disgrace to humanity that, at the close of the first decade of the twenty-first century, stoning is still practiced in Iran and similar Islam-stricken countries. We, the citizens of 100 cities, hereby unequivocally declare that this blot must be removed from the face of humanity immediately and permanently.

On this day we also protest against the regime of stoning in Iran. This regime has, during the 31 years of its existence, committed genocide, established a system of sexual apartheid in Iran, and made imprisonment, execution, torture, rape of political prisoners, and the rule of pre-medieval Islamic Sharia the law of the land. Such a regime is not the representative of the people of Iran. It is their murderer, and its leaders must be brought to trial before international tribunals for their crimes against humanity.

Further, the international protest of August 28 is yet another manifestation of the solidarity of people around the world with the people of Iran, who have heroically risen up to bring down the regime of stoning, the Islamic code of punishment (Qesaas), Hijab, torture, and execution. We, the citizens of 100 cities worldwide, proudly declare that we consider ourselves the standard bearers of the universal front of humanity against barbarity. We support the struggles of the people of Iran against one of the cruelest regimes in the history of humankind. We, therefore, emphatically declare, on behalf of the world’s civilized humanity, that the path to the liberation of the Iranian people will not pass through threats or military action against, the country, but through the removal of the regime of the Islamic Republic by the power of the struggles of people in Iran and across the world.

The following are our common demands on August 28, 2010 throughout 100 cities of the world:

1- The immediate and unconditional freedom of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and all other prisoners in Iran sentenced to be stoned to death.

2- The abolition of stoning in Iran and elsewhere. We demand that the United Nations urgently adopt a specific resolution forbidding stoning as an inhuman punishment all over the world.

3- Not recognizing the Islamic regime of stoning in Iran as the government of that country and, thus, banning it from all international bodies.

4- Bringing to trial the perpetrators of stoning. Stoning is one of the most abominable forms of crime against humanity. Any individual, group, organization or state executing the punishment of stoning must be prosecuted and tried by international tribunals.

We continue our struggles until we have achieved all of these demands. As an immediate, primary step to that end, we demand that Mahmood Ahmadinejad, the president of the regime of stoning, be stopped from entering the General Assembly of the United Nations in September 2010.

Free Sakine, No Stoning, No Execution, No more, Nowhere!
http://www.iransolidarity.org.uk/
http://stopstonningnow.com
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Citizens of the World against Stoning

24 July 2010 – International Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani Day
In Vancouver @5 Pm
Art Gallery Robson St.
Pls. Join Us!

We, the undersigned, are extremely concerned about the fate of 43 year old Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani and fear she may be executed in Iran at any time for ‘having an illicit relationship.’

We call on people everywhere to intensify their protests by marking Saturday 24 July as the International Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani Day. On the Saturday, we ask you to come out on to the streets and in city centres across the globe at 2pm local time bringing photos of Sakine and messages in her defence and against stoning and execution. Other measures that can be taken include highlighting her case wherever possible, signing petitions (http://stopstonningnow.com/), (http://www.avaaz.org/) and (http://freesakineh.org/), joining rallies, and keeping pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The mother of two has already received 99 lashes and been sentenced to death by stoning. Sajjad, her 22-year-old son, who raised the alarm of her imminent stoning when there was no further legal recourse via an open letter to the people of the world (http://notonemoreexecution.org/) and said ‘there is no justice’ in Iran (www.notonemoreexecution.org/-sajjad) has been summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence for his brave efforts to secure his mother’s freedom (http://notonemoreexecution.org/press-release).

As a result of the public outcry, the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in London has issued a press release stating that the regime did not intend to stone her, that stoning in Iran was rare and that there was no truth to the reports (http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com). Her lawyer, however, has made it clear that ‘Iranian embassies are not a part of the judiciary system, and it is the judiciary which should cancel this sentence’ (http://notonemoreexecution.org/-sakineh4/). Rather than being rare, a new report has found that over 100 known stonings have already taken place and another 25 known cases await death by stoning in Iran (http://countmein-iran.com/Sangsarha). Since the global protests, families of others held in Tabriz prison have come forward with news of 170 people sentenced to death, including children, youth, and 18 men and women for being gay. Two other women also await death by stoning in the same prison including Azar Bagheri who was 15 when she was arrested and 25 year old Maryam Ghorbanzadeh who is currently pregnant (http://notonemoreexecution.org/press-release-no-13/).

On 24 July 2010 at 2pm join us and make the world stand still in its rage against medievalism and barbarity and in its support of humanity. Sakine, her children and the many others awaiting death by stoning and execution deserve nothing less.

Signatories
Mina Ahadi, International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Executions (Germany)
Maryam Namazie, Iran Solidarity, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran and One Law for All (UK)
Maria Rohaly, Mission Free Iran (USA)
Shahla Abgari, Human Rights Activist (USA)
Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Stop Child Executions (Canada)
Russell Blackford, University of Newcastle (Australia)
Caroline Brancher, Union des Familles Laïques (France)
Helle Merete Brix, Journalist and Writer (Denmark)
Roy Brown, International Humanist and Ethical Union (Switzerland)
Ed Buckner, President, American Atheists (USA)
Peter Calluy, Belgian Humanist Society (Belgium)
Pierre Cassen, Riposte Laïque (France)
Megan Cornish, Seattle Radical Women (USA)
Parvin Darabi, Dr. Homa Darabi Foundation (USA)
Richard Dawkins, Scientist (UK)
Sanal Edamaruku, Rationalist International (India)
Bill Flanagan, Queen’s University (Canada)
Tahir Aslam Gora, Writer and Journalist (Canada)
AC Grayling, Writer and Philosopher (UK)
Laura Guidetti, Marea Association (Italy)
Maria Hagberg, Network against Honour-Related Violence (Sweden)
Johann Hari, Journalist (UK)
Farzana Hassan, Author (Canada)
Tasneem Khalil, Independent World Report (Sweden)
Hope Knutsson, Sidmennt, the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association (Iceland)
Leo Igwe, Nigerian Humanist Movement (Nigeria)
Sonia Jabbar, Journalist (India)
Trefor Jenkins, University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)
Ghulam Mustafa Lakho, High Court Advocate (Pakistan)
Monica Lanfranco, Marea Feminist Review (Italy)
Anne-marie Lizin, Belgian Senate Honorary Speaker (Belgium)
Marieme Helie Lucas, Secularism Is A Women’s Issue (France)
Kinga Lohmann, KARAT Coalition (Poland)
Mohamed Mahmoud, Centre for Critical Studies of Religion (UK)
Irshad Manji, European Foundation for Democracy and New York University (USA)
Caspar Melville, Rationalist Association (UK)
Behnaz Parman, Artist (Germany)
Angela Payne, Anti-Injustice Movement (UK)
Clancy Pegg, Bioethics Journal (UK)
Naomi Phillips, British Humanist Association (UK)
David Pollock, European Humanist Federation (UK)
Venita Popovic, Zenicke Sveske Journal (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Gita Sahgal, Human Rights Campaigner (UK)
Terry Sanderson, National Secular Society (UK)
Nina Sankari, European Feminist Initiative (Poland)
Udo Schuklenk, Queen’s University (Canada)
Aisha Lee Shaheed, Women Living Under Muslim Laws (UK)
Issam Shukri, Defense of Secularism and Civil Rights in Iraq (Canada)
Elizabeth Sidney, Women Worldwide Advancing Freedom and Equality (UK)
Joan Smith, Writer and Activist (UK)
Roy Speckhardt, American Humanist Association (USA)
Annie Sugier, Ligue du Droit International Des Femmes (France)
Richy Thompson, National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (UK)
Christine Tasin, Résistance Républicaine (France)
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner UK)
Giti Thadani, Writer and Filmmaker (India)
Shishir Thadani, South Asian Voice (India)
Gianni Verdoliva, Journalist (Italy)

Notes
1. The new and comprehensive list of persons stoned to death or awaiting death by stoning in Iran compiled by Farshad Hosseini of the ICAE is available in Persian: http://countmein-iran.com/Sangsarha. It is being translated into English.

2. See a 17 July article in the Times calling for the eviction of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women: http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com/

3. For more information, please contact:
Mina Ahadi, Germany, ICAE and ICAS Coordinator
minaahadi@aol.com
0049 1775692413
Ahmad Fatemi, ICAE Public Relations
fatemimark@gmail.com
0046 0735203817
Maryam Namazie, UK, Iran Solidarity Spokesperson iransolidaritynow@gmail.com
0044 7719166731

4. To donate to the important work of the International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Executions, please make your cheque payable to ‘Count Me In – Iran’ and send to BM Box 6754, London WC1N 3XX, UK. You can also pay via Paypal (http://countmein-iran.com/donate.html). Please earmark your donation.

5. You can also find the latest news on the following websites:
International Committee Against Executions
http://notonemoreexecution.org/
International Committee Against Stoning
http://stopstonningnow.com/wpress/
Facebook Page of Save Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani: http://www.facebook.com/

RSVP
Friends of Women In The Middle East (FWME)
http://www.equal-rights-now.com/
Zahra A.

Petition to Support Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

The Iranian government has suspended the stoning penalty but Sakineh will still face execution for alleged ‘adultery’. Please sign the online petition to help overturn the penalty to save her.

Sign the Petition

‘Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is kept in prison since 2005 in Tabriz prison in Iran. She is accused of having committed adultery with a married man and henceforth is sentenced to being stoned to death while her crime has not been proved.

‘We condemn this judicial sentence and ask for international help for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. We hope that someday in near future stoning people to death be eradicated from all judicial laws.’

Sign the Petition
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WAF outraged at jirga’s judgment of stoning to death

Staff Report

LAHORE: Women’s Action Forum (WAF) is outraged at reports of yet another “judgement of stoning to death due to illicit relations”, pronounced by a self-styled jirga convened in Kala Dhaka, wherein it was alleged that a man and a woman were seen walking together in a field in Madakhail.

WAF noted that Kala Dhaka was a Provincially Administered Tribal Area (PATA) until it was converted into a settled area and renamed ‘Torghar’ last week, after which it might be excused for demanding the writ of the state, the pronouncements of the judiciary, and the provincial law enforcement system to be de jure and de facto functional.

WAF states that there appears to be no law enforcement and no heed paid to the higher judiciary (including the Supreme Court’s) declaring jirgas and panchayats to be illegal parallel systems of “justice” and instructing the respective federal and provincial governments to eradicate them, and to punish those who participate in them.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=201079\story_9-7-2010_pg7_17

Stoning Continues in Iran: At least 10 More People are at Risk of Death by Stoning

Press Release of the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign
Date: 2009/01/10

During the last week of December, 3 men were stoned to death in Behesht Reza Cemetery in Mashhad for the crime of adultery. One of them, an Afghan citizen by the name of Mahmoud, managed to forcibly escape from the stoning pit and survived. Unfortunately, the other two men, one of whom is named Hushang Khodadaeh and another who remains unidentified, were killed, pounded mercilessly with stones. This is the latest such case since the stoning deaths of Jafar Kiani in June 2007, and Mahboubeh M and Abbas H in May 2006.

For the last three years ago, the Head of the Iranian Judiciary has repeatedly stated that although the punishment of stoning remained under Iranian law, the execution of such sentences were not enforced; at the same time, a moratorium on stoning has been in effect for the entire country Nevertheless, we have witnessed at least 6 cases of stoning in the last 3 years. Clearly, as long as the penalty of stoning remains under the Penal Code and sanctioned by Iranian law, such words by the Head of the Judiciary are worthless.

In July of this year, several women’s rights defenders, lawyers, and activist held a rpess conference announcing the names of nine women who were currently awaiting stoning sentences. Since then, spokesman for the Judiciary Alireza Jamshidi announced in August that the stoning sentences of four women (Layla G., Azar and Zohreh Kabiri, and Shomameh Malak Gharbani) would be commuted to whipping and imprisonment. However, Azar and Zohreh Kabiri has not been released yet and a retrial planned for January 12 which will judge whether they are guilty for adultery or not.

In addition, there are presently at least ten others locked up in several prisons around the country who are in danger of being stoned to death:

1. Kobra Najjar, imprisoned in Reja’i-shahr- Karaj
2. Iran A., imprisoned in Sepidar Prison- Ahvaz
3. Kheirieh V., imprisoned in Sepidar Prison- Ahvaz
4. Ashraf Kalhori, imprisoned in Evin Prison-Tehran
5. Abdollah Farivar, imprisoned -Sari Prison
6. Ghilan Mohammadi, imprisoned in Central Prison -Isfahan
7. Gholamali Eskendari, imprisoned in Central Prison – Isfahan
8. Afsaneh R., imprisoned in In ‘Adel Abad Prison -Shiraz
9. The woman M.J., imprisoned in Vakil Abad Prison – Mashhad
10. The woman H., imprisoned in Vakil Abad Prison – Mashhad

Furthermore, the Majlis, or Iranian Parliament, is currently reviewing a new draft of the Islamic Penal Code. In it, the punishment for adultery is, once again, stoning. The only difference in this new act from the current law is that “based on the prosecutor’s discretion, if the implementation of penal measure such as stoning causes mafsadeh [degradation and disgrace], he can submit a revision and request an alternative measure such as lashing or execution to the Head of Judiciary.”

However, many women’s rights defenders, including the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign, are deeply troubled the revised law. Most notably, the penalty of stoning has not been omitted. In addition, implementation of such a verdict has been left to the discretion of the local prosecutor, who may decide to carry out the verdict or ask for alternative action to be taken, and who can base his judgment on his personal beliefs even if he may be considered a religious fundamentalist.

The Stop Stoning Forever Campaign was formed in August 2006 after news spread of the stoning of two people in Mashhad and the sentencing of Ashref Kalhari to stoning in Evin Prison. Its goal is to eliminating stoning unequivocally from the Iranian Penal Code. Since it began work, the Campaign, working predominately with the Network of Volunteer Lawyers, has saved eight women and one man: Hajieh Esmaeilvand, Parisa A., Najaf A., Soghra Molaei, Zahra Rezaei, Mokarrameh Ebhrahimi, Shamameh (Malek) Ghorbani, Azar Kabiri, Zohreh Kabiri, and Layla G. from death by stoning. In addition, the stoning sentence of one woman, Ashref Kalhari, has been suspended.

Even in light of these successes, the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign has grown deeply troubled by instances of stoning and the increasing number of executions that we have witnessed in Iran in the last few months due to extremist government policies and judicial trends. We urge the public to continue to register their protest with the inhumane punishment of stoning and to demand to the authorities of the Islamic Republic that they terminate this punishment once and for all.

Translated from Farsi by Rochelle Terman
To see Farsi version, please go to: meydaan.net

stop-stoning.org

Stoning Continues in Iran: At least 10 More People are at Risk of Death by Stoning

Posted at 20:32 on Sat, 01/10/2009
Region: Middle East
Country: Iran

Press Release of the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign
Stoning Continues in Iran: At least 10 More People are at Risk of Death by Stoning
Date: 2009/01/10

During the last week of December, 3 men were stoned to death in Behesht Reza Cemetery in Mashhad for the crime of adultery. One of them, an Afghan citizen by the name of Mahmoud, managed to forcibly escape from the stoning pit and survived. Unfortunately, the other two men, one of whom is named Hushang Khodadaeh and another who remains unidentified, were killed, pounded mercilessly with stones. This is the latest such case since the stoning deaths of Jafar Kiani in June 2007, and Mahboubeh M and Abbas H in May 2006.

For the last three years, the Head of the Iranian Judiciary has repeatedly stated that although the punishment of stoning remained under Iranian law, the execution of such sentences were not enforced; at the same time, a moratorium on stoning has been in effect for the entire country. Nevertheless, we have witnessed at least 6 cases of stoning in the last 3 years. Clearly, as long as the penalty of stoning remains under the Penal Code and sanctioned by Iranian law, such words by the Head of the Judiciary are worthless.

In July of this year, several women’s rights defenders, lawyers, and activist held a press conference announcing the names of nine women who were currently awaiting stoning sentences. Since then, spokesman for the Judiciary Alireza Jamshidi announced in August that the stoning sentences of four women (Layla G., Azar and Zohreh Kabiri, and Shomameh Malak Gharbani) would be commuted to whipping and imprisonment. However, Azar and Zohreh Kabiri have not been released yet and a retrial is planned for January 12 which will judge whether they are guilty for adultery or not.

In addition, there are presently at least ten others locked up in several prisons around the country who are in danger of being stoned to death:

1. Kobra Najjar, imprisoned in Reja’i-shahr- Karaj
2. Iran A., imprisoned in Sepidar Prison- Ahvaz
3. Kheirieh V., imprisoned in Sepidar Prison- Ahvaz
4. Ashraf Kalhori, imprisoned in Evin Prison-Tehran
5. Abdollah Farivar, imprisoned -Sari Prison
6. Ghilan Mohammadi, imprisoned in Central Prison -Isfahan
7. Gholamali Eskendari, imprisoned in Central Prison – Isfahan
8. Afsaneh R., imprisoned in In ‘Adel Abad Prison -Shiraz
9. The woman M.J., imprisoned in Vakil Abad Prison – Mashhad
10. The woman H., imprisoned in Vakil Abad Prison – Mashhad

Furthermore, the Majlis, or Iranian Parliament, is currently reviewing a new draft of the Islamic Penal Code. In it, the punishment for adultery is, once again, stoning. The only difference in this new act from the current law is that “based on the prosecutor’s discretion, if the implementation of penal measure such as stoning causes mafsadeh [degradation and disgrace], he can submit a revision and request an alternative measure such as lashing or execution to the Head of Judiciary.”

However, many women’s rights defenders, including the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign, are deeply troubled by the revised law. Most notably, the penalty of stoning has not been omitted. In addition, implementation of such a verdict has been left to the discretion of the local prosecutor, who may decide to carry out the verdict or ask for alternative action to be taken, and who can base his judgment on his personal beliefs even if he may be considered a religious fundamentalist.

The Stop Stoning Forever Campaign was formed in August 2006 after news spread of the stoning of two people in Mashhad and the sentencing of Ashref Kalhari to stoning in Evin Prison. Its goal is to eliminate stoning unequivocally from the Iranian Penal Code. Since it began work, the Campaign, working predominately with the Network of Volunteer Lawyers, has saved eight women and one man: Hajieh Esmaeilvand, Parisa A., Najaf A., Soghra Molaei, Zahra Rezaei, Mokarrameh Ebhrahimi, Shamameh (Malek) Ghorbani, Azar Kabiri, Zohreh Kabiri, and Layla G. from death by stoning. In addition, the stoning sentence of one woman, Ashref Kalhari, has been suspended.

Even in light of these successes, the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign has grown deeply troubled by instances of stoning and the increasing number of executions that we have witnessed in Iran in the last few months due to extremist government policies and judicial trends. We urge the public to continue to register their protest with the inhumane punishment of stoning and to demand to the authorities of the Islamic Republic that they terminate this punishment once and for all.

Translated by Rochelle Terman
To see Farsi version, please go to: www.meydaan.net

Source: stop-stoning.org

Call for Action: Shaheed Bibi Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow

Somalia: Stoning to death of a 13-year old girl

WHAT YOU CAN DO
You can write a letter to the representatives of Somalia, the African Union, and various UN human rights offices to encourage them to take action by investigating this murder, bringing the perpetrators to justice, and denouncing the actions of these insurgents.

SAMPLE LETTER

[date]

Subject: Subject: Stoning of Asha Ibrahim Dhuhulow in Somalia

Dear [Sir / Madam],

We are deeply concerned to learn about the stoning to death of Aisha Ibrahim Dhuhulow, a 13 year old Somali girl who was publically tortured and murdered Monday October 27 2008 in the local square in Kismayu, Somalia.

Accused of adultery, Aisha Ibrahim Dhuhulow was buried up to her neck in front of around 1000 people while stones were hurled at her head. 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 various Muslim laws and their interpretations) 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 respected Muslim scholars to be un-Islamic. Many Muslim nations such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Tunisia, Algeria and others have banned death by stoning. Despite calls for abolition from around the globe, stoning still occurs in several countries, either under law or by the community.

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.”

Somalia is one of the only countries in the world that has not signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We encourage you to use your influence and authority to promote and preserve human rights, peace and security in the region. We urge 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 African Union should take due diligence in taking every possible measure in order to prevent any such violation of women’s human rights from reoccurring.

We thank you for your urgent attention to this matter.

Yours Sincerely,

[Your name / your organization]

ADDRESSES:

Representatives of Somalia

The Somali Prime Minister Office
HE. Ali Mohamed Gedi
P.O. Box 623 – 00606
Sarit, Somalia
premiersom@somali-gov.info
Fax: +252-5-974242

Prime Minister’s Secretary
Mr. Abukar Ali Abdirahman (Abukar Ga’al)
pmsecretary@somali-gov.info
Fax: +252-5-974242

African Union

African Union Headquarters
P.O. Box 3243, Roosevelt Street (Old Airport Area)
W21K19, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fax: +251 11 551 78 44

Social Affairs Commissioner
Adv. Bience P. Gawanas
Fax: +251 11 550 49 85

Directorate of Peace and Security
Mr Geofrey Mugumya
Fax: +251 11-552 58 72
dpeace@africa-union.org

Directorate of Women, Gender and Development
Mrs. Litha Musyimi-Ogana
Fax: +251 11-551 78 44
dgender@africa-union.org

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Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
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Ms Yanghee Lee
Committee on the Rights of the Child
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
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Please also copy all correspondence to wluml@wluml.org

BACKGROUND

Somalia: Woman stoned to death for adultery
29/10/2008: Somali Islamists have stoned to death a woman accused of adultery, witnesses said, the first such public killing by the militants for about two years. (Independent / Reuters)

The woman was placed in a hole up to her neck for the execution late yesterday in front of hundreds of people in a square in the southern port of Kismayu, which the Islamist insurgents captured in August.

Stones were hurled at her head and she was pulled out three times to see if she was dead, witnesses said. When a relative and others surged forward, guards opened fire, killing a child.

“A woman in green veil and black mask was brought in a car as we waited to watch the merciless act of stoning,” one local resident, Abdullahi Aden, told Reuters.

“We were told she submitted herself to be punished, yet we could see her screaming as she was forcefully bound, legs and hands. A relative of hers ran towards her, but the Islamists opened fire and killed a child.”

The European Union’s presidency condemned the stoning.

“The EU … condemns a particularly vile execution, which the Islamist insurgents who took control of the city deliberately publicised,” it said in a statement.

The Islamists last carried out public executions when they ruled Mogadishu and most of south Somalia for half of 2006. Allied Ethiopian and Somali government forces toppled them at the end of that year, but they have waged an Iraq-style guerrilla campaign since then, gradually taking territory back.

As when they ruled Mogadishu in 2006, the Islamists now controlling the Kismayu area are again providing much-needed security, but also imposing fundamentalist practices such as banning forms of entertainment seen as anti-Islamic.

Relatives of the woman executed in Kismayu, whom they named as Asha Ibrahim Dhuhulow, were furious.

“The stoning was totally irreligious and illogical,” said her sister, who asked not to be named. “Islam does not execute a woman for adultery unless four witnesses and the man with whom she committed sex are brought forward publicly.”

Islamist leaders at the execution said the woman had broken Islamic law. They promised to punish the guard who had shot the child in the melee around the execution.

“We apologise for killing the child. And we promise we shall bring the one who opened fire before the courts and deal with him accordingly,” one unnamed Islamist leader told the crowd.

28 October 2008

Source: The Independent / Reuters

stop-stoning.org

Shaheed Bibi Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was a Minor

UPDATE: Somalia: Girl stoned was a child of 13

3/11/2008: Contrary to earlier news reports, the girl stoned to death in Somalia this week was 13, not 23, Amnesty International revealed. (Amnesty International)

Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was killed on Monday, 27 October, by a group of 50 men who stoned her to death in a stadium in the southern port of Kismayu, in front of around 1,000 spectators.

Some of the Somali journalists who had reported she was 23 have told Amnesty International that this age was based upon a judgement of her age from her physical appearance.

She was accused of adultery in breach of Islamic law but, her father and other sources told Amnesty International that she had in fact been raped by three men, and had attempted to report this rape to the al-Shabab militia who control Kismayo, and it was this act that resulted in her being accused of adultery and detained. None of men she accused of rape were arrested.

“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.”

Amnesty International has learnt that:

• Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was reported as being 23, based upon a judgement on her physical appearance, according to one of the journalists who had reported the stoning. Her actual age was confirmed to Amnesty International by other sources, including her father.

• Her father said she had only travelled to Kismayo from Hagardeer refugee camp in north eastern Kenya three months earlier.

• She was detained by militia of the Kismayo authorities, a coalition of Al-shabab and clan militias. During this time, she was reportedly extremely distressed, with some individuals stating she had become mentally unstable.

• A truckload of stones was brought into the stadium to be used in the stoning.

• At one point during the stoning, Amnesty International has been told by numerous eyewitnesses that nurses were instructed to check whether Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was still alive when buried in the ground. They removed her from the ground, declared that she was, and she was replaced in the hole where she had been buried for the stoning to continue.

• An individual calling himself Sheik Hayakalah, was quoted on Radio Shabelle saying:“The evidence came from her side and she officially confirmed her guilt, while she told us that she is happy with the punishment under Islamic law.” In contradiction to this claim, a number of eye witnesses have told Amnesty International she struggled with her captors and had to be forcibly carried into the stadium.

• Inside the stadium, militia members opened fire when some of the witnesses to the killing attempted to save her life, and shot dead a boy who was a bystander. An al-Shabab spokeperson was later reported to have apologized for the death of the child, and said the militia member would be punished.

Background
Amnesty International has campaigned to end the use of the punishment of stoning, calling it gruesome and horrific. This killing of Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow demonstrates the cruelty and the inherent discrimination against women of this punishment.

The reports on this killing should be understood within the climate of fear that armed insurgent groups such as al-Shabab have created within the areas they control in Somalia. As Amnesty International has documented previously, government officials, journalists and human rights defenders face death threats and killing if they are perceived to have spoken against al-Shabab, who have waged a campaign of intimidation against the Somali people through such killings.

Since the death, a number of individuals have told Amnesty International they have fled from Kismayo out of fear of suffering a similar fate to Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow.

31 October 2008

Source:
Amnesty International

wluml.org

Press Release: Condemnation of Stoning to Death of Asha Ibrahim Dhuhulow

Shaheed Bibi 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 23 year old Somali woman 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
www.stop-stoning.org