For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Suzanne Trimel, 212-633-4150,

Amnesty International Calls on Al-Shabab Armed Group Not to Carry out Amputations of Accused Robbers

NEW YORK - Amnesty International
is calling on the Al-Shabab armed group not to carry out amputations Tuesday
morning on four men accused of robbery  in Mogadishu.  

The four young men were sentenced Monday to cross-amputation (amputation
of the right hand and the left foot) by an “ad-hoc” court set up by Al-Shabab
in their military camp in northern Mogadishu.  They were accused of
stealing pistols and mobile phones from Mogadishu residents.

"We are appealing to al-Shabab not to carry out these cruel, inhuman
and degrading punishments,” said Tawanda Hondora, Amnesty International’s
Africa deputy director.  "These sentences were ordered by a sham
Al-Shabab court with no due process or guarantees of fairness."

The four men allegedly admitted to the robbery, but have not been represented
by a lawyer, nor are they allowed to appeal against their sentence. The
amputations will reportedly take place in Al-Shabab’s camp, Masla, in
northern Mogadishu.

Al-Shabab factions and the Hisbul Islam armed group, headed by Sheikh Hassan
Aweys, launched a military offensive against forces of the Transitional
Federal Government on 7 May 2009. The armed opposition is in control of
several districts of Mogadishu. An Al-Shabab-controlled coalition in the
port city of Kismayo, southern Somalia, has carried out at least two amputations
since the beginning of 2009.


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