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September 25, 2003

Doing the Right Thing

A Nigerian court did the expected--and right--thing in sparing Amina Lawal from stoning.

Amina Lawal, the single mother who attracted worldwide attention when she was sentenced to death by stoning, had her conviction overturned today by an Islamic appeals court in northern Nigeria.

A panel of judges rejected Ms Lawal's conviction by four votes to one, citing procedural errors and saying she was not given "ample opportunity to defend herself".

Ms Lawal, 32, was sentenced to be stoned to death under Sharia law in March 2002 after she gave birth to a child outside marriage. Twelve mainly Islamic states in northern Nigeria have adopted Sharia, though the Nigerian government had argued for Ms Lawal's release. In an hour-long ruling, the judges in black robes and white turbans said Ms Lawal was not caught in the act, and was not given enough time to understand the charges against her. They also complained that only one judge was present at her initial conviction, instead of the three required under Islamic law.

Now, if only they could stop releasing women on technicalities and admit that the law is barbaric, we'd be making some real progress...

Read the story.

Read our previous post on the issue.

Posted by zombyboy at September 25, 2003 11:24 AM
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