Mogadishu, November 7, 2009 –
Islamists in southern Somalia have stoned a man to death for adultery
but spared his pregnant girlfriend until she gives birth.
Abas Hussein Abdirahman, 33, was killed in front of a crowd of some 300
people in the port town of Merka.
An official from the al-Shabaab group said the woman would be killed
after she has had her baby.
Islamist groups run much of southern Somalia, while the UN-backed
government only control parts of the capital.
This is the third time Islamists have stoned a person to death for
adultery in the past year.
Al-Shabaab official Sheikh Suldan Aala Mohamed said Mr Abdirahman had
confessed to adultery before an Islamic court.
"He was screaming and blood was pouring from his head during the
stoning. After seven minutes he stopped moving," an eyewitness told the
The BBC's Mohammed Olad Hassan in Mogadishu says that if the woman is
also killed, her baby would be given to relatives to look after.
Meanwhile, President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has accused al-Shabaab
of spoiling the image of Islam by killing people and harassing women.
"Their actions have nothing to do with Islam," said the moderate
Islamist during a ceremony at which he nominated a new administration
for the capital, Mogadishu.
"They are forcing women to wear very heavy clothes, saying they want
them to properly cover their bodies but we know they have economic
interests behind - they sell these kinds of clothes and want to force
people to buy them."
Last month, two men were stoned to death in the same town after being
accused of spying.
A 13-year-old girl was stoned to death for adultery in the southern town
of Kismayo last year.
Human rights groups said she had been raped.
Another man has also been punished in this way in the Lower Shabelle
Mr Sharif, a former rebel leader, was sworn in as president after
UN-brokered peace talks in January.
Although he says he also wants to implement Sharia, al-Shabaab says his
version of Islamic law would be too lenient.
The country has not had a functioning national government for 18 years.
Source: BBC, Friday, 6 November 2009