Somali Islamists orders amputations


Somalia‘s al Shabaab insurgents have sentenced four teenagers to each lose a hand and a foot as punishment for robbery.

It will be the first such amputation carried out by the Islamist rebels, who follow strict sharia law in the parts of south Somalia they control Reuters adds.

Al Shabaab whose ranks is swelled by foreign jihadists and is seen by Western security services as a proxy for al Qaeda in Somalia, has carried out executions, floggings and single-limb amputations before, mainly in south Kismayu port.

It is battling the government of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed for control of Mogadishu and is fighting a government-allied moderate Islamist militia in the provinces.

“Today, the Islamic court sentences these four men who carried out robberies to have their opposite hand and leg amputated,” said Sheikh Abdul Haq, judge of the sharia court in the al Shabaab-held Suqa Holaha area of the Somali capital.

“They robbed mobile phones and people’s belongings.”

The judge did not say when the sentence would be carried out at the hearing, attended by hundreds of residents. Shackled and silent, the teenagers were led away into custody.

Al Shabaab’s strict practices have shocked many Somalis, who are traditionally moderate Muslims, though residents give the insurgents credit for restoring order to regions they control.

International rights group Amnesty International condemned the sentence, saying the men had no lawyer and were not allowed to appeal.

“We are appealing to al Shabaab not to carry out these cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments,” said Tawanda Hondora, Africa deputy director of the group.

“These sentences were ordered by a sham al Shabaab court with no due process.”