The Islamist armed groups have become increasingly repressive as they have tightened their grip over northern Mali. Stonings, amputations, and floggings have become the order of the day in an apparent attempt to force the local population to accept their world view. In imposing their brand of Sharia law, they have also meted out a tragically cruel parody of justice and recruited and armed children as young as 12.

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“On July 30, the Islamist authorities in Aguelhoc stoned to death a married man and a woman he was not married to for adultery, reportedly in front of 200 people. They also have punished women for failing to adhere to their dress code – which requires women to cover their heads, wear long skirts, and desist from wearing jewelry or perfume – and for having contact with men other than family members.” Scary stuff.