Nigeria to Stone 2 Women
October 22, 2004
Nigeria—A court in northern
Nigeria has sentenced two women to death by stoning for allegedly committing
adultery, and both will soon appeal to the sentences, a human rights group
The sentences, passed down in Nigeria’s Bauchi state in
September and early October, are the first of their kind in over a year in the
mainly Muslim north, where 12 states have introduced controversial Islamic
Shariah criminal codes since 1999.
One of the two women, 18-year-old Hajara Ibrahim, was
sentenced in October 5. She is due to appeal the ruling on Monday, said Bunmi
Dipo-Salami of a Baobab, a group of human rights lawyers that is funding
lawyers for her defence.
Ibrahim was convicted for having sex outside marriage,
but Dipo-Salami said the case was being appealed on the basis that her first
marriage had never been consummated. Ibrahim was promised in matrimony to a
man while still a minor, and later lived with him for only a short time, she
Ex-husband is the father
The other woman, 25-year-old Daso Adamu, was convicted to
death by stoning on September 15. She says she was made pregnant by one of her
Adamu was initially imprisoned along with her baby of
less than six months, before being released on bail on Wednesday, after her
first appeal hearing. Her case was adjourned until November 3.
Controversy over the introduction of Shariah criminal law
in Nigeria in 1999 and 2000 sparked clashes in which thousands were killed,
both in the north and the majority-Christian south.
No men have been convicted of adultery in past
death-by-stoning cases, as Shariah courts found there was insufficient
evidence to prove they had sex with the women.
Under Shariah law, men can only be convicted on the basis
of witness statements, while pregnancy is considered sufficient evidence to
[Home] [World] [Nigeria]