Last edited: December 30, 2004

Nigeria to Stone 2 Women

News, October 22, 2004
South Africa

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 said Friday.

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 said.

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 two ex-husbands.

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 convict women.

  • Edited by Andiswa Mesatywa

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