Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 

GLOBAL | summer 2003


The Fight for Her Life

Ms. Summer 2003

Cover of this issue

Summer 2003 Table of Contents

Buy this back issue

Join Ms. today!

Get Ms. email updates

Sign Up for Updates

Ms. Magazine Digest
Weekly News Digest

Amina Lawal, 31, from Kurami, a village in Katsina State, Northern Nigeria, is fighting the battle of her life.

Convicted of adultery in March 2002, she was sentenced to be buried up to her neck and stoned to death under the new Sharia penal code introduced in many states within Northern Nigeria.

More than a million letters of protest have poured in to the Nigerian government from people all over the world, horrified that Lawal, a peasant who lacked a lawyer during her trial, was given a punishment that violates the Nigerian constitution as well as human rights agreements such as the Convention Against Torture.

While Lawal was granted a two-year reprieve from death to breastfeed her baby daughter, Wasila, the Women’s Rights Advancement Alternative (WRAPA), a nongovernment organization, took on the case and provided a lawyer for the terrified young mother.

Lawal and her daughter

Amina Lawal and her daughter

When the chief judge failed to turn up in court, Lawal’s appeals court date in early April was postponed to June 3. Now her lawyer claims he has a foolproof argument that will convince the judges of the Ofa Sharia appellate court in Futua, Kastina, that Lawal did not commit adultery. Sadutu Mahdi, the secretary-general of WRAPA, says she is optimistic that given the line of argument they will pursue-which she refused to disclose- “Lawal will win the case and the court will grant her appeal”.

What’s more, if Lawal’s case is lost on appeal, the federal government has indicated it will take the case to Nigeria’s Supreme Court. In the meantime, Lawal has been instructed by WRAPA and her lawyer not to talk about the case.

Women around the world are watching and hoping for justice.