May 20 2009
In Somalia, loud speakers in the streets call people out to watch a new form of entertainment – chopping off limbs of people who break the law.
SOMALI JUSTICE, SHARI’A STYLE – People were being invited to see a man have his hand chopped off in a public park in the city. The young man, Mohamed Omar Ismail, had been found guilty of stealing goods from another man’s house.
That afternoon, hundreds of local people flocked to Freedom Park in order to see the amputation. After a long wait, Mr Ismail was brought out in front of the people and an official started to read out the court decision from a piece of paper. “The Islamic Sharia court of Kismayo district confirms that Mohamed Omar Ismail has been found guilty of stealing,” the official announced.
A local journalist who witnessed the events unfold saw a shocked-looking Mr Ismail brought into the park. His right hand was held up to the crowds. It was then laid on a table and severed immediately and without ceremony at the wrist. An eyewitness told of his horror as the bloody body part was dangled by its index finger in front of the crowd to prove that punishment had been meted out.