An allegedly gay man Mohamed Ali Baashi was buried in the ground up to his chest and stoned to death on 15 March in Barawe some fifty miles form the Somali capital of Mogadishu. According to reports, Al-Qaeda linked Al Shabaab ordered the attack after charging and finding Baashi guilty of sodomy. Members of Al Shabaab stood behind the judges who passed sentence while wearing face masks and showing off their rifles.
Both Baashi and another man, who was also charged with murder, were found guilty after apparently admitting their crimes. The judge supposedly said “We investigated, and this man did what Muslims shouldn’t do and as a result, he will be stoned to death and the one that killed someone will be shot because homosexuality is more punishable in Islam.”
By investigated, the process likely involved torturing the individuals involved until they confessed, and then executing them. Such actions are typical for Al Shabaab, which has allegedly used Sharia law to execute anyone they wanted to even if they were not guilty of the crimes involved.
The scene, which has been described on Towleroad and The Advocate, is reminiscent of an exchange in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novel Small Gods in which Didactylos explains to Brutha that most people carrying out the sentence often do so out of fear of being the next person to be stoned to death. Unfortunately, there is no sure way to know if Baashi was or was not gay. He was 18 years old.