Shebab take Somalia 'back to stone age': UN rights experts

11th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Six UN human rights experts said on Thursday that they feared groups like the Shebab were taking Somalia "back to the stone age," following the public execution of two teenage girls.

The UN experts said in a joint statement that they were horrified by the shooting on October 27 of the teenagers, who were accused by the Al-Qaeda-inspired group of spying in the central town of Beledweyne.

"We join the Somali people in condemning, in the strongest terms, these latest brutal summary executions of two young women convicted without any semblance of due process," they added.

The experts, who were appointed by the 47-member UN Human Rights Council, said they were deeply concerned that "groups such as Al-Shebab are taking Somalia back into the stone age."

They urged the warring parties to refrain from extrajudicial executions, torture, stonings, decapitation, amputations and floggings, as the country was plunged into an "appalling human rights crisis".

"We... call on the international community to never let up on efforts to investigate these unacceptable crimes and prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law," the six experts said.

Sexual violence was also rising, while only 10 percent of Somali children attend school, the UN independent expert on human rights in Somalia, Shamsul Bari, underlined.

The other experts were the UN Special Rapporteurs on torture, Juan Mendez; on extrajudicial executions, Christof Heyns; on freedom of religion, Heiner Bielefeldt; on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, and on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo.

© 2010 AFP

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