South Africa Lawyers: Stop Stoning Women
October 19, 2004
government should intervene to protect two more woman sentenced to death by
stoning by Islamic courts, the SA Law Society (LSSA) said on Monday.
Sentencing women to death by stoning went against every
human rights standard, yet the Nigerian government permitted this “gross
violation of women’s rights” to continue, said Thoba Poyo, chairperson of
the LSSA standing committee on gender equality.
She appealed to the government to intervene.
The two women were convicted by Islamic courts in the
northern state of Bauchi of having sex out of wedlock.
Both the men they were alleged to have slept with were
acquitted for lack of evidence.
Hajara Ibrahim confessed to having sex and becoming
She was handed over to her guardian until she delivered
the baby, after which she was to be stoned to death, the court said.
Dauda Sani, the alleged father of the baby, was
acquitted, although the LSSA pointed out that it would be perfectly possible
to determine his paternity once the baby was born.
The second woman, Daso Adamu, was imprisoned in Ningi
prison and also sentenced to death by stoning, after admitting to having sex
12 times with a man.
There have been several other instances where Islamic
Sharia law re-introduced in 12 northern states in Nigeria in 2000 has doled
out the death sentence for adultery.
As yet no one has been lawfully stoned to death, because
the cases have always been overturned on appeal, and after intense
These two cases are also open to appeal and must be
confirmed by the state governor before they are implemented.
However, the LSSA said whether or not the women ended up
being stoned to death, it was objectionable that the sentences be given in the
“It has also become quite obvious that only women are
punished for adultery.
How can Nigeria be a member of the African Union and the
African Court of Human Rights and espouse principles of gender equality and
yet continue to practice these human rights transgressions?” asked Poyo.
She said these two new cases gave Nigeria the opportunity
to review its judicial system, and in particular the conduct of the Sharia
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