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|Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2003 - 07:35 pm: ||
Please read this carefully and then sign the NEW petition. We have 2,600,000 signatures already. Desperately in need of more.
AMNINA LAWAL SET TO BE STONED ON 3RD JUNE
The Nigerian Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for
AminaLawal, condemned for the crime of adultery on August
19th 2002, to be buried up to her neck and stoned to death.
Her death was postponed so that she could continue to nurse
her baby. Execution is now set for June 3rd.
If you haven't been following this case, you might like to
know that Amina's baby is regarded as the 'evidence' of her
adultery. The father denied everything when he realised the
trouble he was in. To find out more about sharia law, see
Amina's case is being handled by the Spanish branch of
Amnesty International, which is attempting to put together
enough signatures to make the Nigerian government rescind
the death sentence. A similar campaign saved another
Nigerian woman, Safiya, condemned in similar circumstances.
By March 4th the petition had amassed over 2,600,000
It will only take you a few seconds to sign Amnesty's online
petition. Go to the web page
Enter your first name in the space marked "nombre", last
name ("apellidos"), county ("provincia"), country, and In
the drop down box pick Reino Unido (United Kingdom). Then
click on "Seguir" and go to the second page. There you have
the option of entering your email address if you wish to
receive follow-up information. In any case, be sure to click
on "aceptar" to have your name added to the petition list.
Please sign the petition now, then copy this message into a
new email and send it to everyone in your address book.
I do not normally pass a petition forward to others, but I
am making this an exceptional case, given the nature of the
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|Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 08:22 am: ||
Amina Lawal campaign 'unhelpful'
Ms Lawal's appeal has three courts to go through yet
A group acting on behalf of Amina Lawal, a Nigerian woman sentenced to be
stoned to death after committing adultery, has expressed dismay at a recent
campaign to quash her conviction.
The campaign was triggered by reports that Ms Lawal had lost her appeal in
the Nigerian supreme court and had been sentenced to die on 3 June.
This was subsequently denied by, among others, the Nigerian embassy in
Washington and groups on Amina's behalf.
"I don't know how [the reports] originated - they're all over the internet,
there are a great many of them," Dr Ayesha Imam, from women's human rights
group Baobab - who are campaigning to defend Ms Lawal - told BBC World
Service's Everywoman programme.
"It has been suggested that they might come from mistranslations of appeals
for international petitions.
"All I know is that there are far too many of them."
Past cases quashed
In actual fact, the 3 June date is only the first day of Ms Lawal's
appearance at the first of potentially three appeal courts - her own state,
Federal Sharia, and eventually the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
But Dr Imam said she did not believe the case would go that far.
"We're hoping that she won't be unsuccessful because the Sharia state court
of appeal is where all the other cases whose appeals we have helped to put
forward have actually been quashed."
And she added that her group was calling for a halt in the international
campaign for Ms Lawal's immediate release.
"Because of the circumstances in Nigeria today, which are very volatile, we
felt that having a big international campaign and protest letters that were
based on inaccurate information and not very carefully worded, would
actually be more damaging than helpful.
If pardons come as a result of international political pressure, then it's
hard to say to people it was their right all along
Dr Aisha Imam
"We decided that we had to put out an international appeal trying to clarify
the situation and asking people not, at this moment, to participate in
international protest campaigns."
Dr Imam said that while international campaigns could be extremely
productive, she felt this one was not appropriate anymore.
"We're not against all international campaigns, but they're not necessarily
suited to every single situation," she said.
"We need to pay attention to people who are directly involved in the
situation on the ground - and the wishes of the people whose rights we are
trying to defend."
Human rights culture
And she stressed that she felt it was important that Ms Lawal was released
by the courts without the aid of international pressure.
"On the one hand, what we're saying is that we don't need it right now," she
"But the second - and I think more important - reason is that when we fight
a case through the Sharia court of appeal - and win cases, as we have done -
then it says to people 'these people should never have been convicted - the
conviction was wrong'.
"You have therefore demonstrated that people have a right to appeal against
injustices, whether or not they are made in the name of Sharia.
"If pardons come as a result of international political pressure, then it's
hard to say to people it was their right all along - what they is that
somebody stronger than you forced you to back down.
"That doesn't help to build a culture with the respect of human rights."