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Archive for Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Nigeria vows to block stoning sentences

October 30, 2002

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— Nigeria vowed Tuesday to block Islamic courts from carrying out any executions by stoning, promising to hold the line against sentences in northern states that have provoked international protests and boycott threats.

The assurance by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dubem Onyia represents the government's sharpest statement yet on Islamic court, or Shariah, rulings condemning at least four people to stoning for adultery or rape.

"Nobody will ever be stoned as a result of Shariah law. Nobody," Onyia said.

He spoke at a news conference on Nigeria's preparations for the Miss World pageant, which faces a boycott by a growing number of contestants over the stoning sentence handed a Nigerian woman in March.

An Islamic court in northern Nigeria condemned Amina Lawal, a 31-year-old single mother, for having sex outside marriage. A high court rejected Lawal's appeal in August.

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