A young mother of two has been put to death in Pakistan for possessing a cell phone, Opposing Views reported on Thursday.
Arifa Bibi was executed three months ago, on July 11, after a Pakistani tribal court sentenced her to death by stoning. Her uncle, cousins and other family members carried out the order and 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 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. Stoning is also in the law code for adultery, but the rare sentences in recent years have either been overruled or not acted upon.
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 stoning is used against women particularly as a way to control them.
“Stoning is a cruel and hideous punishment,” says 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 a serious crime.”