Somali executed for 'apostasy'

An Islamist militia has executed a Somali politician who they accused of 
betraying his religion by working with non-Muslim Ethiopian forces.

An Islamist spokesman in the port of Kismayo told the BBC that Abdirahman Ahmed 
was shot dead on Thursday.

Mr Ahmed was also accused of spying for Ethiopian forces, said to be backing 
the forces of warlord Barre Hiraale in trying to recapture Kismayo.

He is believed to be the first politician executed by the Islamists.

Ethiopian forces are pulling out of Somalia, two years after they intervened to 
try to oust Islamists from the capital Mogadishu.

But their mission to prop up the interim government is widely regarded as a 
failure as various Islamist group have recently advanced and once more control 
much of the country.

A group of hardline Islamists retook the coastal city of Kismayo last August.

Islamist authorities in the city stoned a 12-year-old girl to death for 
adultery in November, although her aunt said she had been raped.

In Mogadishu, thousands of people have gathered at the football stadium, a 
former Ethiopian base, to celebrate the withdrawal of Ethiopian forces.

Talks about power-sharing between moderate Islamists and the government earlier 
resumed in neighbouring Djibouti.

'Denied body'

Relatives of Abdirahman Ahmed - also known as Waldiire - told the BBC he did 
not have a lawyer present during his trial in a Sharia court.

They say he was arrested about a week ago and they were informed of his death 
sentence on Thursday morning.

Sheikh Hassan Yakub - the spokesman for Kismayo's Islamist administration - 
told the BBC's Somali Service that Mr Ahmed had admitted during his 
interrogation that he worked with those backed by Ethiopia.

This, he said, was the basis for the court's opinion that he had changed his 

The relatives said they had asked the authorities to allow Mr Ahmed to go into 

But he was executed after afternoon prayers on Thursday.

After the shooting, his brother pleaded to be able to bury his body, however, 
he was told the burial had already been done.

Mr Ahmed used to be the spokesman for the Jubba Valley Alliance - one of the 
factions which battled for control of Somalia during the 1990s.

Earlier this month, Mr Hiraale and his fighters took some towns from the 
hardline Islamist group al-Shabab in Gedo region, north of Kismayo.

Observers at the time said Mr Hiraale was being armed by the withdrawing 
Ethiopian troops - an allegation he denied.

Al-Shabab is on the US list of terrorist groups.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2009/01/16 18:00:18 GMT


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