The Toronto Star published today a lengthy investigative piece on the obscure life of a 13-year-old Somali refugee girl whose death the world must now notice. We mentioned the tragic story earlier here, but only now are the shocking details coming to light.
She lived here:
Asho had never known any life other than the refugee camp, about 80 kilometres west of Somalia’s border. Spread across a vast swath of desert, Dadaab was created by the UNHCR, the United Nations’ refugee agency 17 years ago to provide temporary refuge for Somalis fleeing the chaos of Mogadishu. Today, it is the world’s largest refugee camp, home to 230,000 people living in three areas called Hagadera, Ifo and Dagahaley, but collectively known as Dadaab.
How she came to leave the camp and travel to Somalia is still a mystery. She disappeared in August and her father heard from her on a morning in October when she called crying uncontrollably. She was not allowed to finish her call. The family learned later that she had been raped by three men and made the terrible mistake of reporting the crime to authorities. Little did she know she was the criminal under Sharia law.
At about 4 p.m. that same day, armed guards dragged Asho before a crowd of hundreds. Her legs were partially buried so she could not escape, witnesses told local media. Then, a small group of men were given large rocks. Before the stoning began, some onlookers tried to intervene, running forward in protest. Militia, members of a radical Islamic group known as al Shabaab (The Youth), fired, and a young boy was reportedly killed.
Rock after rock struck Asho’s head and chest. The breaks came when someone, reportedly a nurse, stepped forward to see if she was dead. Asho had a pulse; the stoning resumed.
Reuters later quoted a witness named Abdullahi Aden who described the scene when Asho was brought “screaming, as she was forcefully bound, legs and hands.” Pictures, surreptitiously taken with a cellphone camera and posted on the Internet, reportedly record the gruesome aftermath. One blurry shot shows the bloodied face of a girl wearing a soiled pink sweater.
After Asho died, someone identifying himself as Sheik Hayakalah gave an interview to Somali Radio Shabelle. “The evidence came from her side and she officially confirmed her guilt while she told us that she was happy with the punishment under Islamic law,” he said.
Asho had been sentenced to death for “adultery.”
Stoning as capital punishment is sanctioned under Sharia law, although the killing of a 13-year-old girl is believed to be a first in Somalia.
Readers may recall that al Shabaab is the Islamic terrorist group reportedly recruiting in the United States and condemning the West to hell.