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Amnesty International Condemns Sharia Court Ruling - 2002-08-19

The international human rights group Amnesty International has condemned the Sharia court’s decision upholding the stoning sentence for Amina Lawal, who has been convicted of having a child out of wedlock.

Amnesty spokesman Stefan Mikala says the “judgement is not compatible with the Nigeria’s constitution” or international human rights agreements. Mr. Mikala says Amnesty has been campaigning against such sentences and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Ms. Lawal has thirty days to appeal her sentence to a higher Sharia court. The court has said the sentence will not be carried out until Ms. Lawal finishes weaning her child, which could be in January of 2004. Mr. Mikala spoke with English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua.