Amina Lawal’s Stoning Appeal Postponed Again

Amina Lawal, a Nigerian woman sentenced to death by stoning for having sex outside of wedlock, had her appeal postponed yet again until August 27. Her appeal has been postponed because two of the four judges on the panel are not available until August.

Court officials of the Katsina state of Nigeria have insisted that the case go through judicial appeals despite several requests by the Nigeria’s federal government to have Amina Lawal freed, according to the New York Times. The Associated Press reports that some observers believe the court is deliberately delaying the case to avoid the attention that international rights and women’s rights organizations have given Lawal.

Northern Nigerian Islamic Court sentenced Amina Lawal, a single mother, to death by stoning for having sex out of wedlock on March 22, 2002. After a lower Islamic court in the Katsina state rejected Lawal’s appeal to the death by stoning sentence, Lawal’s lawyers appealed to the state court. Sharia (Islamic) law was established in northern Nigeria’s mostly Muslim state Zamfara in 2000 and has spread to at least twelve other states since then. Pregnancy outside of marriages constitutes sufficient evidence for a woman to be convicted of adultery under sharia law.

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Associated Press 6/3/03; New York Times 6/4/03; Feminist News Wire

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