[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Nov 10 09:23:46 CST 2004
Teen escapes death sentence
An Islamic court in northern Nigeria on Wednesday discharged and acquitted
a pregnant teenager who had been conviction for adultery, for which she
had been sentenced to be stoned to death.
Presiding judge Mohammed Mustapha Umar of the Upper Sharia court said here
the lower Sharia (Islamic law) court was wrong in sentencing Hajara
Ibrahim, 18, to death by stoning last October 8.
"This court observes the following faults in the lower court judgement:
firstly, the judge was wrong in sentencing Hajara to 100 lashes and death
by stoning, all at the same time," he said.
"Secondly, Dauda Sani was charged to court for having an affair with
Hajara which he denied. Therefore, the lower court should have dismissed
the case and sentenced Hajara's father who was the plaintiff to 80 lashes
for slander," he said.
The judge at the court in Dass, in the northern Bauchi State, said the
lower court also erred by not giving Hajara the chance for defence.
"Any judgement passed without chance of defence is null and void. Based on
these reasons, this court hereby nullifies the lower court judgement and
discharges and acquits Hajara Ibrahim," he added.
He said anybody who is not satisfied with the ruling can file an appeal at
the Sharia court of appeal.
Hajara had appealed against her conviction by the lower Sharia court in
Lere village in Tafawa Balewa district Bauchi State for adultery, contrary
to section 130 of the state's strict Sharia penal code, enacted
two-and-a-half years ago.
Her lawyer, Abdulkadir Suleiman, had argued that the October ruling was
invalid because Hajara had not consummated her marriage before sleeping
with her boyfriend and conceiving a child and was thus innocent of the
capital crime of adultery.
Hajara was happy about Wednesday's ruling and thanked those who assisted
"I am happy that I have been acquitted. I thank God and those that helped
me through this trying moment,"
"My main worry now is my health and that of my child. I hope for a safe
delivery," she added.
'Left him to his conscience'
Hajara said she has forgiven her boyfriend for denying he had an affair
with her. "I have left him to his conscience."
Since 1999, 12 states across the mainly Muslim north of the country have
begun reintroducing Sharia principles into their penal codes, including
punishments such as flogging, amputation and stoning.
No stonings have yet been carried out, but several men and women around
the region have been convicted of a variety of sexual crimes - adultery,
rape or sodomy - and are awaiting news of their appeals.
Hajara's lawyer said he has a second female teenage client in Bauchi State
whose appeal would be heard in Upper Sharia Court on December 2 in Ningi,
about 100km north of Bauchi city.
SA lawyers: Stop stoning women
The Nigerian government should intervene to protect 2 more woman sentenced
to death by stoning by Islamic courts, the SA Law Society (LSSA) said on
Sentencing women to death by stoning went against every human rights
standard, yet the Nigerian government permitted this "gross violation of
women's rights" to continue, said Thoba Poyo, chairperson of the LSSA
standing committee on gender equality.
She appealed to the government to intervene.
The two women were convicted by Islamic courts in the northern state of
Bauchi of having sex out of wedlock.
Both the men they were alleged to have slept with were acquitted for lack
Hajara Ibrahim confessed to having sex and becoming pregnant.
She was handed over to her guardian until she delivered the baby, after
which she was to be stoned to death, the court said.
Dauda Sani, the alleged father of the baby, was acquitted, although the
LSSA pointed out that it would be perfectly possible to determine his
paternity once the baby was born.
The second woman, Daso Adamu, was imprisoned in Ningi prison and also
sentenced to death by stoning, after admitting to having sex 12 times with
There have been several other instances where Islamic Sharia law
re-introduced in 12 northern states in Nigeria in 2000 has doled out the
death sentence for adultery.
As yet no one has been lawfully stoned to death, because the cases have
always been overturned on appeal, and after intense international
These two cases are also open to appeal and must be confirmed by the state
governor before they are implemented.
However, the LSSA said whether or not the women ended up being stoned to
death, it was objectionable that the sentences be given in the first
"It has also become quite obvious that only women are punished for
How can Nigeria be a member of the African Union and the African Court of
Human Rights and espouse principles of gender equality and yet continue to
practice these human rights transgressions?" asked Poyo.
She said these two new cases gave Nigeria the opportunity to review its
judicial system, and in particular the conduct of the Sharia courts.
(source for both: News24)
Tibetans seek waiver of death sentence to Delek
Over 50 Tibetan demonstrators on Wednesday began a 5-day hunger strike
demanding immediate release of their spiritual leader Tulku Tenzin Delek,
under detention in Tibet since 2002 and facing a death sentence.
The protestors, belonging to the North East Zone Tibetan Youth Congress
Committee, assembled near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the heart of the
metropolis and shouted slogans demanding immediate release of Delek,
recognised by their spiritual head the Dalai Lama.
The protestors alleged that their leader was, "wrongfully condemned and
unfairly tried" by the Chinese authorities.
Delek, who returned to Tibet in 1987 after 6 years of religious education
in India, was arrested in 2002 on charges of endangering state security
and illegal construction of monasteries and schools.
Delek was sentenced to death with a 2-year reprieve that ends on December
(source: Press Trust of India)
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