A 30 year-old divorcee, Amina Lawal, has been sentenced to be stoned to death in Katsina state, northern Nigeria. Some residents in her town of Funtua reported the case to the police when they discovered that Miss Lawal was pregnant.
She confessed to police that she had had a relationship with a man for 10 months. However, he was acquitted as he denies having had sex with her. Under Islamic law there must be four adult male Muslim witnesses in an offence that can lead to a death sentence. (This, incidentally, is why there are so few rape convictions in Islam. The victim will be punished instead, as she has admitted having sex.)
Her sentence will be carried out after Miss Lawal has weaned the eight-month baby girl, Wasila that resulted from the affair.
HRAIC consultant, R.E. Burns, Grad Dip Islamic Studies, says the sentence is flawed as there was no case in which Prophet Muhammad stoned a divorced person.
What can we do to save her?
Send a message to President Olusegun Obasanjo of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Ask him to intervene in the affairs of Katsina state. Nigeria itself is earning the disrespect of the world for the implementation of Sharia (Islamic) laws introduced in the last two years in the northern states. Hundreds of people have been killed in clashes between Christians and Muslims after the introduction of Sharia in the north. A teen-age mother Bariya Ibrahim Magazu was given 80 lashes early this year for the lesser crime of fornication (pre-marital sex). Two people found guilty of theft have had their hands cut off in Zamfara and Sokoto states.
Cruel and unusual punishments are in contravention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Nigeria is a signatory. Remember to be polite. President Obasanjo is not responsible for the introduction of Sharia, but he must do all in his power to have barbaric practices such as stoning, whipping and amputation of limbs removed from state laws.
His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org