Ruling to Stone Nigerian Woman to Death Overturned

A Nigerian Islamic Court has overturned the ruling of a lower court that sentenced a pregnant woman to death by stoning for committing adultery. According to Reuters, the judge of the Bauchi Upper Sharia (Islamic) Court stated that the prior conviction of Hajara Ibrahim was wrong on several grounds including that the investigation was not properly carried out and Ibrahim was not given the opportunity to defend herself.

Ibrahim was sentenced to death for adultery and one hundred lashes of the cane on October 5 for having sex with a thirty-five year old man and becoming pregnant, reports CNN,. The man was acquitted because the court found “no evidence to link him with the allegation.” On September 15, another Nigerian woman, was given the same sentence of stoning to death for having sex with a thirty-five year old man. There have been no recent reports of the status of her case.

Under sharia law, pregnancy outside of marriage constitutes sufficient evidence for a woman to be convicted of adultery, which carries the sentence of death by stoning. Sharia law was established in northern Nigeria’s mostly Muslim state Zamfara in 2000 and has spread to at least twelve other states since then. Last year Amina Lawal was sentenced to death by stoning for having sex out of wedlock. Following an outcry from women around the world her case was then overturned in September 2003.

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BBC News 11/10/04; CNN 11/10/04; This Day (Lagos)11/10/04; Reuters 11/10/04

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