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Nigerian Woman Faces Stoning For Committing Adultery

August 29, 2003

Amina Lawal, a 32-year old woman from Northern Nigeria’s Katsina province was sentenced to death on March 22 last year. She was told she would be buried up to her neck in sand and stoned to death after bearing a child outside wedlock.

The sentence was pronounced by a Sharia court at Bakori in Katsina.

Lawyers have argued that Amina be freed but state officials have insisted that she go through the judicial appeals process

The man named as the father of her baby girl reportedly denied having sex with her and the charges against him were discontinued. Amina’s appeal has been postponed multiple times since last August when a court upheld her death sentence.

On Wednesday August 27 this Islamic court of appeal announced that it would issue its judgement on September 25, 2003. The judges also re-affirmed that if convicted Amina should not be stoned until she has weaned her baby Wasila in January 2004. As Amina who has now postponed death for a year waits for a judgement–we are joined by two people who have worked with the case.

  • Amina Wadud, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University-author of 'Quran and the Woman: Re-reading the Sacred Text from a Womans Perspective' (Oxford University Press, 1999). She is a Feminist Islamic scholar of Gender and an expert on Quranic Law.
  • Stephane Mikala, Nigeria Researcher at Amnesty International in London. He has been working with the Amina Lawal case-he was present at her hearing at a Shariah court in Katsuna province of Northern Nigeria in March this year. It was there that he got a chance to spend some time with Amina.

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