DAPSY welcomes the successful appeal of Amina Lawal
against her conviction for adultery and death sentence by stoning
by John Chung
(Petaling Jaya, Friday): DAPSY welcomes the Nigerian Katsina State Sharia Court of Appeal’s decision to overturn the conviction of Ms. Amina Lawal's for adultery and her sentence of stoning to death. We rejoice with Amina over her successful appeal and acquittal and the restoration of her freedom to carry on with her life after months of agony and uncertainty over her fate.
The Sharia court, in a four to one majority decision, had held that Amina’s pregnancy outside of marriage is not proof of adultery and that her rights to due process of the law at the lower courts were not properly recognised.
Amina’s vindication represents an important victory for the cause of human rights and human rights organizations which have championed for her freedom. In the first place, she should not have been charged, much less convicted.
We hope that this positive verdict of the Katsina State Sharia Court of Appeal will be emulated by other court of appeals in similar cases still in the appeal process as well as deter such charges from being brought in the future.
Stoning is an archaic and inhumane form of execution which is considered a cruel form of torture, incompatible with the established norms of human rights and should no longer be practised in modern society.
This latest development should also be a wake-up call to PAS, which had passed the Syariah law in both the states of Kelantan and Terengganu providing for stoning of women convicted of adultery, that such a form of punishment clearly violates the principles of human rights and human dignity and has no place in 21st century society.
* John Chung, DAPSY International Secretary