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13-Year-Old Somali Rape Victim Stoned to Death in Front of 1000 Spectators

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Before I get to the story in the headline, a brief preface:

Like so many of you, I've had the incredible privilege of being part of election 2008, first as Hillary Clinton's Internet Director and then - as part of Hillary's team - doing everything possible to help elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

And like so many of you, I shed tears when Obama was declared the winner, the long nightmare of Bush's presidency at an end and a new era at hand with a president who commands respect, who understands the issues, who is disciplined and dignified, who will begin healing the deep wounds of the past eight years.

I've been an online activist since 2001 and November 4th was a day to reflect on how much the netroots have achieved, something I wrote about recently. With 2000 and 2008 as bookends, I realized how focused many of us have been on all things Bush, doing our best to protect the country we love from his radical administration.

Going forward, there will be more work than ever for the online community, especially considering that we'll have a networked presidency. From a personal standpoint, now that Bush is on his way out, one of the things I want to spend more time writing about is the horrendous mistreatment of women and children around the globe.

Speaking of which, Vanessa Valenti posted a truly horrific story on UN Dispatch, a blog I've helped edit since early 2005 and where I'll be concentrating most of my writing in the months to come:

Last week, 13-year old Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was stoned to death in Somalia by insurgents because she was raped. Reports indicate that was raped by three men while traveling by foot to visit her grandmother in conflict capital, Mogadishu.


When she went to the authorities to report the crime, they accused her of adultery and sentenced her to death. Aisha was forced into a hole in a stadium of 1,000 onlookers as 50 men buried her up to the neck and cast stones at her until she died.

When some of the people at the stadium tried to save her, militia opened fire on the crowd, killing a boy who was a bystander.

I hope we can all work with the incoming administration to begin creating conditions in which we can banish this barbaric and malevolent behavior from our planet.