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Amina Lawal was sentenced to death by stoning by a Regional Court in Katsina

State, Nigeria for having a child outside marriage. Her sentence was announced

on 23 March 2002, three days before the day of Safiya's acquittal.

 
 

 

Save Amina From Death by Stoning

Amina Lawal Must Not Face Death by Stoning

Open Letter to President of Nigeria

 
HELP NEEDED-
A PLEA from Mackie Blanton 

 

As some of you may have heard, a Nigerian woman was recently sentenced  to death--for having a child out of wedlock. Amina Lawal has been sentenced to death by STONING. She is to be buried up to her neck in the ground, after which her punishers will surround her and throw rocks at her head until her skull is crushed and she dies a painful and horrible death.

Surely, we must all feel equal shock and disgust at this sentence, and we need to remember that she has only thirty days to appeal her trial. Please go to the Amnesty International site at http://www.mertonai.org/amina/ and sign the letter addressed to the President of Nigeria. It literally takes only a minute, and could help to save her life, as well as help put an end to this kind of cruel and disgraceful judgment in a country that calls itself a democracy.

Societies that sanction to death women who have been raped, or abandonned by a lover, often view the man as the victim--as a victim to women's wiles, as if men are driven beserk beyond their own moral control by the face or body of a woman. Such societies therefore reason that a woman's presence must be snuffed from the face of the earth. We must speak from our own moral outrage against such stupidity and ignorance.

Get the word out!  Pass this on!

 

Back in October 2001, 35-year old Safiya Hussaini  was condemned to death, by stoning, for allegedly committing adultery. International outcry led by Amnesty International ( the Merton Amnesty Group campaigned for Safiya - see campaign archive) helped save her life; she was acquitted on technical grounds by an appeal court. 

Now 30-year old Amina Lawal faces the same death sentence. Amina Lawal was sentenced to death by stoning by a Regional Court in Katsina State, Nigeria for having a child outside marriage. Her sentence was announced on 23 March 2002, three days before the day of Safiya's acquittal.

Amina Lawal's Case - Her Trial and Sentence

When unmarried, Amina became pregnant. Local villagers had her arrested and she was brought before a Regional Court where she was charged with the crime of adultery Like Safiya, she had no legal representation and there are serious questions about whether the nature of the charges was adequately explained to her. 

Under the Katsina regional law, admitting to having a baby amounts to a confession to the crime of adultery. As in the case of Safiya Hussaini, the man identified as Amina's partner--the alleged father of her baby daughter-- was released. The court said there was insufficient evidence against him. 

For him to be convicted, he must either confess, or four other men must testify that they witnessed the adultery.  

With the help of a Nigerian women's rights group, Amina has appealed against the sentence. After several adjournments,  the appeal was rejected on Monday, August 19. A new appeal at a higher court has been lodged. 

Victims of Poverty

Like Safiya, Amina comes from an impoverished background. Both were married in their early teens (12 and 14 respectively) only to be divorced at a later stage and left to raise their children by themselves.

The softly spoken and largely unschooled Lawal told AFP that her main worries were the strain the case was putting on her parents and what would happen to her baby daughter Wasila if she is put to death.

Women's and Human Rights organizations in Nigeria have already highlighted the emerging pattern of people from poor backgrounds - particularly women - being the victims of cruel, inhumane and discriminatory sentences introduced by Regional laws in the states of northern Nigeria.

Amina's Fundamental Human Rights

In Nigeria, laws can be  introduced by Regional States which may be contrary to Federal Nigerian Law. Under the Regional Law of Katsina State, a death sentence can be imposed on any man or woman who has sex outside of marriage.

Under Federal Nigerian law, Amina has the right to have her life and personal dignity respected. This right is enshrined in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, which confirms the sanctity of human life. This right is also recognized by all the international and regional human rights declarations and conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory.

These cases created a political storm in Nigeria. The Nigerian Federal Government recognizes that laws which discriminate against women are unacceptable, and that the death penalty is inhumane and inappropriate.

A week before Safiya's acquittal the Federal Minister of Justice wrote to Regional authorities to declare that these penalties are a contravention of the Nigerian constitution.

However, the Nigerian Constitution also protects individual States - such as Katsina State- from interference by the Nigerian Federal Government. Leaders of the Northern states have yet to respond in a positive manner to the Federal government's declaration.

Early hopes that the close alliance between Federal Government and the Governor of Katsina State would result in a positive outcome for Amina were dashed recently. A spokesperson for the Katsina State authorities, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said that the Governor would not intefere in the appeal process, and predicted that if the appeal was turned down, Amina Lawal would be executed.

"If the appeal court confirms her as guilty, she will be executed," he said. 

This will entail burying Amina  up to her waist and stoning her until she is dead.

What can YOU do to help

At this critical stage, it is of crucial importance to build on the successful campaign that saved Safiya.

It is vital that the Nigerian Federal Government is given support to fulfill its human rights commitments.

People from all round the world can play their part in encouraging Nigeria to do the right thing: to end inhumane and cruel sentences in its territory and to ensure human rights for all Nigerians.

 

You can help make a difference by encouraging the Nigerian government to focus on delivering its pledges to its own people and to the international community by writing to both the Nigerian and U.K. politicians.

Amina Lawal with her baby daughter Wasila (c)BBC

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

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#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

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#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

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#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

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#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar's astonishing rise to become the world's principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar's changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America's economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan's bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt's handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar's dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today. He concludes with a sobering dissection of the 2008 world financial debacle, which exposed the power--and the enormous risks--of the dollar's worldwide reign.  The Economy

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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Enjoy!

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 2 March 2012

 

 

 

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Related files: Won't Be Stoned for Adulter