Recent reports indicate that radical Islamists are creating lists of unmarried mothers in the northern Mali area, where they have avowed to enforce strict sharia law that forbids women from having any relationships with men outside of marriage. Unmarried women who have violated this rule have been executed, undergone forced amputations, and have been whipped and even stoned.

Married women and children are also currently endangered in northern Mali, where husbands are reportedly selling their wives, young women are increasingly being forced into marriages, and children are being sold to militants who trained them as child soldiers.

Ivan Simonovic, the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights of the United Nations, spoke out against these human rights violations, stating, “Civil and political rights are being severely restricted as a result of the imposition of a strict interpretation of sharia law, and systematic cruel and inhumane punishments are being implemented.”

The United Nations Security Council approved a resolution last week that allows for leaders to plan international military intervention against the radical Islamist groups in Mali, who have taken over the majority of the nation since the country’s president was overthrown in March.

Media Resources: CNN 10/13/2012; The New York Times 10/12/2012, Think Progress 10/9/2012

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