Somalia: UNICEF deplores stoning of child rape victim

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NAIROBI, 4 November 2008 - UNICEF has described last week's stoning of a 13-year old girl in Somalia as 'deplorable.' The girl was stoned to death in a stadium of spectators in Kismayo on 27 October 2008 after having been found guilty of adultery. Reports indicate that she had been raped by three men while traveling on foot to visit her grandmother in the war-torn capital, Mogadishu. Following the assault, she sought protection from the authorities, who then accused her of adultery and sentenced her to death.

"This is a tragic and deplorable incident," said UNICEF Representative for Somalia, Christian Balslev-Olesen.

The incident highlights the extreme vulnerability of girls and women in Somalia, for whom violence and discrimination are intensified by the effects of chronic conflict and displacement. Sexual and gender-based violence is commonplace in Somalia and the vulnerability of girls and women is further exacerbated through gender inequalities in access to essential social services.


UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For interviews, please call:

Christian Balslev-Olesen, UNICEF Representative, +254 722 514 569 or +254 733 629 933

Hannan Sulieman UNICEF Deputy Representative (for interviews in Arabic) +254 724 255 656

For more information please contact:

Denise Shepherd-Johnson: Chief of Communication +254 722 719 867,

Paul Fiszman, Child Protection Specialist, +254 714 397482,