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Woman sentenced to stoning freed

From Jeff Koinange
CNN
Thursday, September 25, 2003 Posted: 7:19 AM EDT (1119 GMT)



Amina Lawal


Nigerian woman sentenced to stoning freed after protests. CNN's Jeff Koinange reports


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KATSINA, Nigeria (CNN) -- An appeals court has freed a Nigerian mother sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

The Shariah Court of Appeal ruled on Thursday that Amina Lawal's conviction was invalid because she was already pregnant when harsh Islamic Shariah law was implemented in her home province.

The 31-year-old, who was in court with her baby, Wassila, has been appealing the death sentence for two years.

"It is the view of this court that the judgment of the Upper Shariah Court, Funtua, was very wrong and the appeal of Amina Lawal is hereby discharged and acquitted," judge Ibrahim Maiangwa said.

Shariah law, based on the teachings in the Quran, Islam's holy book, is practiced in 12 of Nigeria's 36 states.

Lawal's case had become the focus of human rights groups around the world who were outraged at the sentence that Lawal should be buried up to her neck and then have stones thrown at her head until she was dead.

Had the court not overturned the verdict, Lawal would still have had two appeals left, one to a Nigerian federal court and a final appeal to Nigeria's Supreme Court. Neither of those courts is governed by Shariah law.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo had said if Lawal's case reached the Supreme Court, he would make sure it was overturned.

Lawal was convicted and sentenced in March 2002 after giving birth to a baby girl more than nine months after divorcing. Under the strict Shariah law, pregnancy outside marriage constitutes sufficient evidence for a woman to be convicted of adultery.

A court stayed her execution for two years to allow her to care for her baby.

"This is all I have to live for right now," Lawal said before the hearing. "My child means everything to me."

Lawal lives with her father, his two wives and their numerous children in the tiny village of Kurami, deep in Nigeria's Islamic north. The village is so small that it does not appear on a map.

She insists she did nothing wrong and that the man who fathered her child made a promise to marry her. He did not, leaving her pregnant and with no support.

The man said he was not the father, and three male witnesses testified he did not have a sexual relationship with Lawal. The witnesses constituted adequate corroboration of his story under Shariah law, and he was freed.

Lawal is the second woman to be sentenced to death after bearing a child out of marriage since 2000, when more than a dozen states in the predominantly Islamic northern Nigeria adopted strict Islamic Shariah law.

In March 2002, an appeals court reversed a similar sentence on Safiya Hussaini Tungar-Tudu after worldwide pleas for clemency and a warning from Obasanjo that Nigeria faced international isolation over the case.

The adoption of Shariah, which includes amputation as a possible punishment for convicted thieves, has stoked violence between Muslims and Christians in Africa's most populous state. More than 3,000 people have been killed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

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Praises must go up for this one!

Like MBM, though, I wonder if this release is due to the appeals process or to media scrutiny?
I am wondering if this will happen to another Nigerian sista when the media scrutiny is less intense? Has the practice of stoning women based on judgement of sexual behavior ceased? or is this an isolated case of justice prevailed?
Hi EbonyRose,

Much respect to you for calling out the Dad on his irresponsible behavior...but could you build a little further on why u believe the Dad should also have been subjected to this? It is my understanding that he was brought before the court only to have his charges dismissed. Is it the Dad's fault? or Sharia law? What's your opinion, ER?
Yes, this was a great victory. I'd like to thank every black person, specifically African/American women who got involved with this issue and sent letters of protest to those beings over there. This is just the beginning of African women's freedom on a tiny scale. We black women must reach out to African women and aid them in removing male oppression, enslavement, torture, off of their precious lives.

It is to say the least, (and that's real hard for me to do), shameful, wretched, and disgraceful, of the African males of the world to behave in such a manner. They show the world they are utterly doomed fools. They must be combatted because their 'thought' pattern does include this same mistreatment for black women everywhere. They remain our # 1 enemy, make no mistake about it!!!

My Motto?! You may ask. Well here's it in a nutshell, I believe in LOVE/HAPPINESS for all righteous souls. I believe you 'love' 'TRUTH/GOD' so much that you put it out there full force, un-restrained, and in so doing, you bring 'HAPPINESS'....wink!

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