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Amnesty International:

Amina Lawal Update

Dear Amnesty Member,

We are very pleased to announce that a Sharia Court in Nigeria overturned Amina Lawal's death sentence earlier today. Thanks to all of you who took action on this case. Your efforts have made a difference!

According to her defense lawyer, Amina Lawal, who had been sentenced to death by stoning because she had a child outside of marriage, was freed on the grounds that neither the conviction nor the confession were legally valid.

"Amnesty International is thrilled that Amina Lawal's life has been spared," commented Curt Goering, Senior Deputy Executive Director for Amnesty International USA (AIUSA). "We congratulate the millions of activists in Nigeria and around the world who voiced their opposition to such a cruel and unusual punishment. This verdict is a reaffirmation of the power of a grassroots movement. We will continue our work against the death penalty in Nigeria in the hopes that others will not have to endure such a harrowing ordeal."


In March 2002, Amina Lawal was sentenced to stoning to death by a Sharia court in Bakori in the Katsina State of northern Nigeria.

She had allegedly confessed to having had a child while divorced. Under the new Sharia-based penal code, which applies to Muslims only, pregnancy outside of marriage constitutes sufficient evidence for a woman to be convicted of adultery.

In November 2002, The Oprah Winfrey Show aired a special segment on Amina Lawal's case. The segment kicked off a joint venture between The Oprah Winfrey Show and Amnesty International USA to send one million messages to the Nigerian government protesting the sentence. In the end, more than 1.2 million messages were delivered.


Our work on behalf of Amina Lawal is part of our worldwide effort to defend human rights and uphold human dignity. We need your support now more than ever. Please give generously today.

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site last updated: May 26, 2005
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