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Hundreds of Somali women jailed, lashed for not wearing veils


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mogadishu, Somalia (APA) - Islamic militants belonging to the Al Qaeda-inspired Al Shabab movement in Somalia arrested and lashed more than 200 Somali women since Tuesday for failing to wear veils within two weeks.

Most of the women were arrested in the villages of Suqa holaha, Daynile and the main Bakara market in Mogadishu which is a hotbed for the Somali insurgents fighting the transitional federal government and AU peacekeepers in the capital.

Residents in the Daynile district in Mogadishu say dozens of old women were hospitalized after they were beaten by the extremist militias on Wednesday as the two-week ultimatum to wear veils expires.

A 24-year old woman who asked anonymity because of security told APA that she cannot afford the veil and its skirt and she has decided to remain at home to escape from being lashed or arrested.

A resident in the Suqa Holaha village who gave his name only as Yasir because of security reasons told APA that his grandmother, aged 65, was beaten on Wednesday morning when she was caught walking in the Bakara Market without wearing a veil.

The militants control most of south-central Somali and large parts of the capital where all women have been ordered to cover their bodies or face punishment.

The veil and its skirt cost more than 500 Somali shillings and most of the poor Somali women cannot afford to pay the money. As a result, hundreds of women who failed to wear veils have been arrested since late Tuesday.

Source: APA, Oct. 14, 2009