Many people remain skeptical about the recent story of a man being stoned to death in Somali for homosexual rape of a teenage boy, but the Associated Press has gathered enough supporting evidence to warrant publishing an article about it.
The Somali LGBT rights group that first publicized the story insists that the stoning occurred, but admits that it has been unable to find supporting details.
In the March 21 article “Somali Rebels Stone to Death Man for Sexual Act,” AP states:
A militant official and a Somali resident say al-Shabab fighters have stoned to death a man for carrying out a homosexual sex act.
The resident, Yusuf Abdi, said the group buried a blindfolded man to his waist last Friday and threw stones at him until he died.
An al-Shabab official said one of its judges sentenced the man to death because he forced a 13-year-old boy to have sex with him. The al-Shabab member insisted he not be named.
Gay Star News reported the event as “Gay man ‘stoned to death’ in Somalia,” which echoed the original version of the story on Facebook and the Identity Kenya.
The language used in this blog’s report was “A gay man was allegedly stoned to death as punishment for homosexuality, a gay Muslim group has said Saturday.” That article was headlined “Gay man stoned to death in Somalia?”
It stated further that “According to Somali Gay Community, the young man, Mohamed Ali Baashi ,18, was buried in a hole up to his chest and then pelted with rocks by members of the Al Qaeda link group Al Shabaab on Friday, March 15, in Barawe, about 50 miles from the capital, Mogadishu.”
Gay Star News noted:
In Somalia and other extremist countries, such charges are often trumped up in order to produce a sentence.
Somali Gay Community, the LGBT Muslim group that originally reported the stoning yesterday (20 March) on their Facebook, included unrelated pictures with one being from as early as 2008.
Identity Kenya, an African LGBT site who acknowledged they were unable to verify the story, has removed the photos on their report.
This blog did not include the photos, but did add an editor’s note saying, “Some of the distressing photos don’t seem to match the description of a man ‘buried in a hole up to his chest.’ ”
Somali Gay Community, currently based in South Africa, said yesterday on Facebook, in a statement that is modestly edited here:
Most of you understood that we never claimed the images we showed on our page were the actual event photos. However, all of us are aware the incident happened. We tried our best to get the bottom of how it happened and was it true the allegation, what the judge says [about a 13-year-old boy raped by an 18-year-old boy] whom they stoned to death? Unfortunately we couldn’t succeed. …
Being a homosexual Muslim living in Somali is beyond imagination. We wanted and are still fighting for the international human rights [community] to talk about this and to bring it in front of the newly democratic elected government so that we can be protected by the government near the future.
Related articles (of varying reliability):
- Somali gay sex man stoned to death (timesofmalta.com)
- “Gay Man Allegedly Stoned To Death In Somalia.” (Identity Kenya)
- Gay man stoned to death in Somalia? (76crimes.com)
- Somali Rebels Stone to Death Man for Sexual Act (abcnews.go.com)
- Somali Teen Stoned To Death For Being Gay As Village Forced To Look On (queerty.com)
- Gay Somali Teen Stoned to Death, Village Forced to Watch (advocate.com)
- Somali rebels stone man to death for sexual act (seattletimes.com)
- AP Backs Up Story About Gay Man Stoned to Death in Somalia (towleroad.com)
- “Gay Somali teen” stoned to death (sebaspace.wordpress.com)
- Report that gay Somalian teen stoned to death in doubt due to fraudulent photos (LGBTQNation)
- Man Reportedly Stoned To Death In Pakistan (rferl.org)
- Islamic militants stone man to death for adultery in Somalia as villagers are forced to watch (Daily Mail, December 2009)