Thursday, June 25, 2009

Somali Court Orders Amputation Over Phone Theft

A court under the control of a Somali Islamist insurgent group
al-Shabab has ordered four young men suspected of stealing guns and
mobile phones to have a hand and a leg amputated, but the punishment
was postponed.

An al-Shabab spokesman told the Associated Press the sentence would be
carried out but was delayed because of fears the men could bleed to
death in the hot weather. The human rights organization Amnesty
International has condemned the amputation sentences as a violation of
international law.

The four young men were sentenced on Monday to cross-amputation
(amputation of the right hand and the left foot) by an "ad-hoc" court
set up by Al-Shabab in their military camp in northern Mogadishu. They
were accused of stealing pistols and mobile phones from Mogadishu

Tawanda Hondora, Amnesty International's Africa Deputy Director said
that "these sentences were ordered by a sham Al-Shabab court with no
due process or guarantees of fairness." The four men allegedly
admitted to the robbery, but have not been represented by a lawyer,
nor are they allowed to appeal against their sentence.

In May, 2009, al-Shabaab, along with allied grou Hizbul Islam launched
a major offensive in the city of Mogadishu to take over the city
leaving hundreds killed and injured and tens of thousands displaced.
The group made large gains, taking over most of the capital.

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