A young mother of two has been put to death in Pakistan for possessing a cell phone.
Arifa Bibi was sentenced to death by stoning by a Pakistani tribal court, and was executed on July 11 at the hands of her family. Her uncle, cousins and other family members threw stones at the woman until she died, all because she had a mobile phone. She was buried in the desert far away from her home village, and according to reports, her family was not permitted to be involved in her funeral.
Stoning has been a common sentence in countries like Pakistan for a long time and is used against women and other vulnerable groups. Since the stoning of Arifa Bibi this summer, women’s rights groups have launched an even stronger campaign to put a ban on stoning.
Naureen Shameem, representative for women’s rights group Women Living Under Muslim Laws, says that stoning is used against women in particular as a way to control them.
“Stoning is a cruel and hideous punishment,” said Shameem. “It is a form of torturing someone to death. It is one of the most brutal forms of violence perpetrated against women in order to control and punish their sexuality and basic freedoms.”
The Asian Human Rights Commission explained the act of stoning against women in a recent press release.
“Stoning to death is a barbaric act from a primitive society,” reads the press release. “Society is sent the message that violence is the way to deal with women and other vulnerable groups. Women’s rights are negated through the use of these forms of punishment. Pakistani society has degenerated to the point that, for a woman, keeping a cell phone has become serious crime. It is treated as a worse crime than gang rape, murder and bomb blasts, through which many people are killed on a daily basis.”
Groups are currently petitioning the United Nations to enact a worldwide ban on stoning. It is not known what progress has been made on that front.
Ed. Note: This picture is not from the actual event. It's just a picture of a woman getting stoned in some movie.