Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Somalia

Delivered in Plenary - 20th November 2008

Mr President

Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was barely a teenager. She would probably have never known anything about the European Union or its Parliament. Even as she was being gang-raped, or lay dying under a deluge of stones, she would probably never have imagined that politicians far away would recognise her ordeal and commemorate her very short life. But I am sure that as she died, she knew that she was the victim of a grave injustice.

The sickening crimes she suffered are made all the more shocking by the bizarre details of this case: the crowd of one thousand people; the venue of a stadium, as though it was some kind of spectator sport; the truckload of stones ordered specially for the purpose; the gunmen who fired at people trying, to their credit, to save this poor girl’s life.

Somalia is a failed state, and there is little the EU can do practically to address the barbarity of the various clans and Islamist militias in charge of areas outside the government’s control.

Where we can take a stand, however, is by asserting our own values, which are incompatible with Sharia law. That is not just my opinion, but also the opinion of the European Court of Human Rights. This tragic case merely reinforces our determination never to surrender our hard-won democratic freedoms to obscurantism.