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WOMENS RIGHTS A Northern Nigerian Islamic Court sentenced a single mother Amina Lawal to death by stoning for having sex out of wedlock Lawal is the second Nigerian woman condemned to death by stoning for engaging in sex outside of marriage The first woman Safiya Hussaini had her sentence overturned in March on her first appeal after giving birth to a child outside of marriage In October of 2001 Lawal was found guilty of sex out of wedlock in After a lower Islamic court in the Katsina state rejected Lawals appeal to the death by stoning sentence Lawals lawyers are planning to appeal her case to a higher Islamic court possibly the Supreme Court According to AP Ahmadu Ibrahim and Fatima Usman were also sentenced to death by an Islamic Court for committing adultery They are currently awaiting an appeal While unmarried Amina became pregnant Local villagers had her arrested She was brought before a Regional Court where she was charged with the crime of adultery In comparison to Safiya Amina had no legal representation and there are serious questions about whether the nature of the charges was adequately explained to her Under the Katsina regional law admitting to having a baby amounts to a confession to the crime of adultery As in the case of Safiya Hussaini the man identified as Aminas partner - the alleged father of her baby daughter - was released The court said there was insufficient evidence against him For him to be convicted he must either confess or 4 other men must testify that they witnessed the adultery The Nigerian government promised last week to stop the Islamic courts from carrying out sentences of death by stoning According to the Associated Press Dubem Onyia the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs stated Nobody will ever be stoned as a result of Sharia Islamic law Nobody They also vowed to go against sentences in the northern
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