Nigerian Death Sentence Protested in Rome

ROME, JAN. 9, 2002 ( The Community of Sant´Egidio organized a demonstration today in front of the Nigerian Embassy to save a young Nigerian woman from stoning.

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Safiya Husaini, 30, was condemned to death by stoning for adultery. The sentence was passed by an Islamic court in Sokoto, a northern state of Nigeria.

Sant´Egidio hopes that the «international pressure exerted by political forces and especially by European public opinion will succeed in persuading the Sokoto authorities to commute Safiya´s death sentence and that of all those condemned to death.»

The young woman was condemned to death last October by a court in Gwadabawa for engaging in premarital relations with a young man of her village.

The man was acquitted for lack of evidence. Safiya was condemned on the evidence of her pregnancy. She gave birth to a daughter a few months ago.

On Nov. 22, following initial international appeals and support, the death penalty was suspended, but not rejected, by the highest Nigerian authorities, who said they were opposed to the sentence.

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