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Monday, 17 January, 2000, 17:14 GMT
Somalia's Islamic court tackle cannabis, lesbianism

In Somalia, an official of the Islamic courts near the southern port town of Merca says he has seized more than one-thousand kilograms of cannabis in a nearby village, a haul he said was worth more than fifty-thousand dollars.

The official, Abdinasir Dahir Mohammed, said he had sent his men out to survey the region after a tip-off that farmers were illegally growing the drug; they arrested one man while sacks of cannabis were being loaded onto a lorry.

Another man caught trafficking in cannabis was sentenced by the Islamic court to forty lashes and a year in jail. In a separate case, the militia leader arrested a young woman on Saturday who was dressed like a man and accused her of lesbianism.

After clarification by a woman doctor, she was sentenced to fifteen days in jail and twenty-five lashes.

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