Public floggings are a humiliating and barbaric method of punishment, and should be outlawed everywhere. The same is true of beheading, as happens in Saudi Arabia, and public hangings or other forms of execution that we see reported in Iran and elsewhere.
Media-savvy Ansar Dine rebels in northern Mali arranged their Sharia punishment several days ago ,of a young couple found guilty of extra-marital relations, so that this HD video could be beamed around the world. It is not pleasant to watch, but the intention appears to be more to shame the couple than to inflict serious physical injury. You can see the woman is walking around unaided after her ordeal, and both were unrestrained and wearing clothes that were not damaged by the lash. Ambulances and medics were at the scene to offer immediate treatment. In other words, the entire event was conducted more humanely than anything we see available to unarmed protesters anywhere in the world.
The militants want to curb smoking, drinking and sex outside marriage. Are these addictive human weaknesses now to be considered human rights? Does Ansar Dine want to stop people taking drugs as well, or would that ruin their business prospects?
So, here it is, and you are meant to see it, otherwise it would not be made public. If you choose to watch, bearing in mind the punishments I list above, and considering the actions of American, Canadian, British, French, Dutch, Norwegian, Greek, Italian, Spanish and German police pepper-spraying or brutalising unarmed protesters: in your view, are any of these incidents sufficient cause to mount an international military invasion force? Do you care enough to tell your government you do not support military intervention in Mali or any other country on the basis of unverifiable scaremongering reports from anonymous sources and media hype?[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCJ1aKem3WY]
- Radical Islamists in Mali enlist new militia (staradvertiser.com)