By Dominic Kelly, October 3, 2013
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 by the people living in the tribal areas and in some backward regions of the country.
Stoning is used against women in particular as a way to control them.
Stoning is a cruel and hideous punishment. 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.
Stoning to death is a barbaric act from a primitive society. Society is sent the message that violence is the way to deal with women and other vulnerable groups. Sometimes it seems that adoption of shariah is only limited to placing restrictions on women. At least, this is what one comes across in countries like Saudi Arabia and when Taliban was in power in Afghanistan.
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.
There are moves to enact a worldwide ban on stoning. It means more conferences in five star hotels in exotic locations while the poor women continue to face stoning to death.