Sunday, July 22, 2007

[wvns] Nigeria's "Soft" Shariah

Sharia Stoning for Nigerian Man

A Sharia court in Nigeria's north-eastern Bauchi State has sentenced a
man to death for raping two teenage girls, local press reports say.

"For your action, you will be stoned to death as ordained by Allah,"
presiding judge Aliyu Mohammad told Ade Debo after he confessed to the
crime. The court said Debo, 23, connived with fellow herdsman Shagari
Abubakar to force the girls to have sex with them. But Abubakar got
off with a lighter six-month sentence for assisting Debo. Both men
have 30 days to appeal against the sentences, after which the local
state governor will confirm them.

Bauchi is one of 12 states in mostly Muslim northern Nigeria that have
introduced Sharia punishments for criminal offences in recent years.

Sharia courts impose strict Islamic laws, including floggings and
amputations for crimes like theft.

The introduction of Sharia punishments has been highly controversial,
provoking international concern abroad and sparking religious violence
within Nigeria. More than a dozen Nigerian Muslims have been sentenced
to death by stoning for sexual offences ranging from adultery to
homosexuality since the Sharia legal system was introduced in 2000.

But none of these death sentences has actually been carried out. They
have either been thrown out on appeal or commuted to prison terms as a
result of pressure from human rights groups.

Many others have been sentenced to flogging for drinking alcohol. But
there have been two amputations in north-western Zamfara State which
pioneered the introduction of the Islamic legal system in the country.



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