[Blog] Stoning to Death and Honor Killing is a Crime against Humanity By Jose Mario De Vega

Stoning to Death and Honor Killing is a Crime against Humanity
By Jose Mario De Vega

I refer to Dominic Kelly’s, “Arifa Bibi Stoned To Death In Pakistan For Possessing A Cell phone”, which appeared on Opposing Views, dated October 3.

Mario De Vega

The gruesome story is about “a young mother of two has been put to death in Pakistan for possessing a cell phone.”

As the report lucidly narrated:

“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 the reports, her family was not permitted to be involved in her funeral.”

I join the international humanistic community in condemning to the highest possible extent this act of barbarism and extreme inhumanity.

The whole matter is a complete travesty and an utter mockery of justice. Where can you find a law that punished a person simply for possessing a cell phone?

If ever there is such a ‘law’ how could the ‘authorities’ justify the penalty of death? Worst, how could they justify the execution by stoning to death?

As continued by Kelly:

“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.”

I condemn Pakistan and all countries, such as Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria who idiotically prescribes and condones stoning people to death, especially women and other vulnerable minority groups.

Stoning to death, in my view is a bloody stain in the history of civilization. This ignorant and inhume act is not only a crime to the women or to those minority groups, but also undeniably a crime against humanity.

This barbaric practice is a shame to the whole of mankind!

I concur with Naureen Shameem, the representative for women’s rights group Women Living Under Muslim Laws, when says “that stoning is used against women in particular as a way to control them.”

Shameem stated that:

“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.”

Indeed, as 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. 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.”

Another idiotic issue that I wish to highlight and condemn is the so-called barbaric practice of “honor killing”.

The Human Rights Watch defines “honor killings” as follows:

“Honor killings are acts of vengeance, usually death, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by (individuals within) her family for a variety of reasons, including: refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce—even from an abusive husband—or (allegedly) committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that “dishonors” her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life.”

There is no iota of doubt that these two idiotic issues are evil in origin and irrefutably barbaric to the maximum.

These preposterous practices and nefarious acts grossly and grimly violated the United Nation Universal Declaration of Human Rights that clearly stipulates that:

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Clearly, stoning to death and honor killing are undeniably a blatant negation, a sheer derogation and a complete denial of the people, especially of women and other vulnerable minority groups of their human rights and the guarantee and protection of a civil, reasonable and secular law as mandated by international law and sanctioned by universal convention and statutes!

To deny these groups or type of people their inherent and natural right to their human rights is to challenge their very humanity and reduce their dignity. This is a shame!

To impose on them a backward, preposterous and Jurassic law is to deny their humanity. This is a shame!

Incontestably, stoning to death and honor killing’s only aim is depriving people of their humanity and dehumanizing them. This is the heights of stupidity, shame and absurdity!

Henceforth, I forged solidarity and joined all relevant rights groups and humanistic international organizations who are “currently petitioning the United Nations to enact a worldwide ban on stoning.”

This twin evil practices and acts of madmen and barbarians must come to an end.

For Humanity, Equality and Justice!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
College of Arts and Letters
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

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