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Islamic Court Cuts Woman’s Lip as Punishment

April 8, 1995

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) _ An Islamic court in northern Mogadishu cut off part of a woman’s lower lip as punishment for chewing an equal bit from another woman during a fight.

``We can show you the videotape, if you want,″ Abdi Ali Alasow, a member of the three-judge panel, told reporters Saturday.

Raho Omar Mohamed, 25, was convicted of biting off part of Zeinab Abukar Haji Ali’s lip. The judges suggested forgiveness or compensation, but Ali, 27, insisted Mohamed lose part of her lower lip.

``We were afraid she might bite more than the corresponding portion,″ Alasow said of Ali.

The judges, therefore, measured Miss Ali’s missing part, marked a similar portion on Miss Mohamed’s lip with a marker and cut it with a razor blade Friday.

``We were afraid scissors would cut more than the desired portion,″ Alasow said. ``Unfortunately, doctors did not want to cooperate with the court in cutting the lip.″

Islamic courts, which enforce Muslim law, are increasingly dispensing justice in the East African nation, which has lacked a government since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Somalia is predominantly Muslim.

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