Somali women flogged for wearing bras

Residents said gunmen had been rounding up any woman seen with a firm bust and then had them publicly whipped by masked men.

Gulf News

Mogadishu () Somalia's hardline militant group Al Shabab has publicly whipped women for wearing bras they say violate Islam by constituting a deception, north Mogadishu residents said on Friday.

The insurgent group amputated a foot and a hand each from two young men accused of robbery earlier this month. They have also banned movies, musical ringtones, dancing at wedding ceremonies and playing or watching soccer.

Residents said gunmen had been rounding up any woman seen with a firm bust and then had them publicly whipped by masked men. The women were then told to remove their bras and shake their breasts.

"Al Shabab forced us to wear their type of veil and now they order us to shake our breasts," a resident, Halima, said.

"They first banned the former veil and introduced a hard fabric which stands stiffly on women's chests. They are now saying that breasts should be firm naturally, or just flat."

Officials of Al Shabab declined to comment.

Abdullah Hussain, a student in north Mogadishu, said his elder brother was thrown behind bars when he fought back a militant who humiliated their sister by asking her to remove her bra.

Men were not spared the ‘moral cleansing'. Any man caught without a beard has been publicly whipped.

"I was beaten and my hair was cut off with a pair of scissors in the street," Hussain said.

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