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Thu, 09.25.2003

Nigerian woman acquitted in adultery case

Amina Lewal(AP photo)

On this date in 2003, a Nigerian woman won an acquittal in court, avoiding death by Stoning.

Amina Lawal a Nigerian peasant sentenced under Islamic law to death by stoning for having had sex outside marriage, was set free by the highest religious court in her state. Her case had become a flash point in the debate over the reintroduction of Shariah, or Islamic law, across northern Nigeria and a difficult political problem for a nation already inflamed by deep religious and regional divides. Death-by-stoning is not allowed under the Nigerian constitution.

The ruling by the Katsina State Sharia Court of Appeals relied largely on technicalities, and it is unclear what impact it will have on the dozens of other Shariah sentences pending before Islamic courts, including death-by-stoning.  During the same week, another Shariah court in northern Nigeria convicted a man of sodomy and sentenced him to death by Stoning.

The Associated Press
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