EMERGENCY ROOM NAPLES - 2009 - Palazzo delle Arti
EMERGENCY: STONING OF WOMEN
The day before I arrived to the Emergency room in Naples, Somalia's transitional federal parliament unanimously backed the introduction of Islamic Sharia law in the country after a vote over the issue was brought to parliamentarians.
The Alshabab militia previously declared that it would continue fighting until Sharia law was imposed in Somalia. The new form of law will replace the traditional charter, which was not as strict as Sharia law. The strict interpretation of Sharia forbids girls from attending school, requires veils for women and beards for men, and bans music and television.
Most importantly, in Sharia law, the penalty for adultery is stoning to death.
Most people heard the terrible story in October 2008 about the 13-year old girl Aisha Ibrahim Dhuhulow who was buried up to her neck at a football stadium and then stoned to death in front of more than 1000 people.
A relative and others tried to save her and the militia opened fire, killing a small boy. A truckload of stones was brought in. Fifty Islamist militants threw stones at her while 1,000 people watched her die. She was removed from the hole three times and even when a nurse confirmed that she was dead, her body was put back in the hole and the stoning continued.
The stoning occured after she had allegedly pleaded guilty to adultery in a Sharia court in Kismayo. Various sources stated that Aisha had been crying, that she begged for mercy and had to be forced into the hole before being buried up to her neck in the ground.
Amnesty International later learned that the girl was in fact 13 years old and had been arrested by al-Shabab militia after she had reported being gang-raped by three men.
The whole concept of stoning whereby an organized group throws stones at the convicted individual until the person dies is inhumane and designed only to make the death longer and extremely painful.
Stoning has been used throughout history in a number of places, both in the form of community justice and also as a judicial form of capital punishment. It is referred to in Greek history and Sharia, as well as in ancient Christian and Jewish texts.
I am against death penalty no matter which way it is executed however stoning is the most inhumane and terrible version. And considering that the reason for the stoning of Aisha was the fact that she tried to report being gang-raped makes the whole story even more insane.
It is unacceptable that stoning still occurs in several countries in 2009 and at this moment 8 women are still waiting to be stoned in Iran.
If we are fortunate enough to be born in a part of the world where stoning isn't a problem we are forced to deal with, we need to stand up for those who face this cruel treatment.
This is the reason why I chose to include a television screen in my work ”Without Sin” It gave the audience an opportunity to experience the look of a stoning through the screen and then walk behind it and experience it as they were standing at the crime scene.
We are so used to horrible images on tv mixed with advertising and sitcoms and millions of pieces of information in a steady flow that even the most important issues don't cause any reaction. But stoning is real, it is happening now and we need to do whatever we can to stop it.
GALLERY FROM THE EMERGENCY ROOM IN NAPLES