A group of 29 young men and women were rounded up and imprisoned in the Somali city of Gaalkacyo after being found dancing in an improvised dance club. A shariah court operating in the city has sentenced the youth to three months of prison, accusing them of “fornication” and offending Islamic customs.
The court also sentenced the youth to a fine of 1,000,000 Somali shillings each (approximately $1,500). Additionally it ordered that all their music equipment be destroyed and that the males in the group have their heads shaven.
Located in south central Somalia, Gaalkacyo has been the scene of violent conflict in recents months. In November, two rival administrations operating in the city went to war, sending over 90,000 fleeing and wounding and killing dozens of people.
Music and a little dance might have calmed things down in the city, which is known for producing the most warlike people in Somalia, but the powers that be have apparently decided against it.