Nigerian Couple Sentenced to Death by Stoning for AdulteryWashington D.C. Feminists Encourage Activists to Send Stones to the Nigerian Embassy in Protest
September 12, 2002
by Joy Nadler, NOW Communications Intern
The Nigerian government has declared punishments such as beheadings, stonings and amputations to be unconstitutional, but a number of states in northern Nigeria continue to implement laws based on an extremist interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law, which considers sex out of wedlock a crime punishable by death.
The latest case is that of Fatima Usman and Ahmadu Ibrahim, an unmarried couple from Niger State who were sentenced to death by stoning last month for having sex.
Usman's father, who reportedly wanted her to marry someone else against her will, complained to local police that Ibrahim had impregnated her. The two were called before a Sharia court, where they plead guilty to charges of adultery and were sentenced to five years in prison on Aug. 5. According to the Sydney Sun-Herald, Usman's father considered the sentence too lenient, and protested it until the case was taken back to court. A few weeks later, the court sentenced Usman and Ibrahim to death by stoning.
Women's rights activists around the world have voiced outrage at the court's ruling in this case and in the cases of Safiya Hussaini and Amina Lawal Kurami, both single mothers from poor rural villages who faced similar charges for bearing children out of wedlock.
Members of Capitol City NOW in Washington, D.C. called for activists to send stones to the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, D.C. to protest the sentences and encourage the Nigerian government to intervene and uphold international human rights standards in the northern states.
Send a stone to:
For more information:
Actions | Join - Donate | Chapters | Members | Issues | Privacy | RSS | Links | Home
© 1995-2012 National Organization for Women, All Rights Reserved. Permission granted for non-commercial use.