NAIROBI, Kenya - The United Nations said Tuesday that a Somali stoned to death by Islamist militants after she had been accused of adultery was a 13-year-old girl who had been raped while visiting her grandmother.
In the first such public killing by the militants in about two years, she was placed in a hole and stoned to death on Oct. 28 in a rebel-held port city, Kismayu, in front of a crowd, after local leaders said she was guilty under Shariah, the legal code of Islam based on the Koran.
Witnesses said at the time that the victim had been a 23-year-old woman.
“Reports indicate that she had been raped by three men while traveling on foot to visit her grandmother in the war-torn capital, Mogadishu,” Unicef, the United Nations children’s agency, said in a statement.
“Following the assault, she sought protection from the authorities, who then accused her of adultery and sentenced her to death,” Unicef added. “A child was victimized twice — first by the perpetrators of the rape and then by those responsible for administering justice.”
The BBC has quite a bit more, including this:
A young woman recently stoned to death in Somalia first pleaded for her life, a witness has told the BBC.
"Don't kill me, don't kill me," she said, according to the man who wanted to remain anonymous. A few minutes later, more than 50 men threw stones.
Human rights group Amnesty International says the victim was a 13-year-old girl who had been raped.
Initial reports had said she was a 23-year-old woman who had confessed to adultery before a Sharia court.
Numerous eye-witnesses say she was forced into a hole, buried up to her neck then pelted with stones until she died in front of more than 1,000 people last week.
Cameras were banned from the stoning in Kismayo, but print and radio journalists who were allowed to attend estimated that the woman, Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, was 23 years old.
People were saying this was not good for Sharia law, this was not good for human rights, this was not good for anything
However, Amnesty said it had learned she was 13, and that her father had said she was raped by three men.
When the family tried to report the rape, the girl was accused of adultery and detained, Amnesty said.
Convicting a girl of 13 for adultery would be illegal under Islamic law.
A human rights activist in the town told the BBC on condition of anonymity that he had received death threats from the Islamic militia, who accuse him of spreading false information about the incident.
He denies having anything to with Amnesty's report.
Court authorities have said the woman came to them admitting her guilt.
She was asked several times to review her confession but she stressed that she wanted Sharia law and the deserved punishment to apply, they said.
But a witness who spoke to the BBC's Today programme said she had been crying and had to be forced into a hole before the stoning, reported to have taken place in a football stadium.
"More than 1,000 people arrived there," he said.
"After two hours, the Islamic administration in Kismayo brought the lady to the place and when she came out she said: 'What do you want from me?'"
"They said: 'We will do what Allah has instructed us'. She said: 'I'm not going, I'm not going. Don't kill me, don't kill me.'
"A few minutes later more than 50 men tried to stone her."
'Checked by nurses'
The witness said people crowding round to see the execution said it was "awful".
"People were saying this was not good for Sharia law, this was not good for human rights, this was not good for anything."
But no-one tried to stop the Islamist officials, who were armed, the witness said. He said one boy was shot in the confusion.
According to Amnesty International, nurses were sent to check during the stoning whether the victim was still alive. They removed her from the ground and declared that she was, before she was replaced so the stoning could continue.