Death Sentence for Pregnant Woman Condemned by Rights Groups

ROME, OCT. 29, 2001 ( Human rights organizations condemned a Nigerian court´s sentence to stone to death a pregnant woman accused of premarital relations.

The Islamic court of Gwadabawa, in the northern state of Sokoto, sentenced Safiya Hussaini Tungar-Tudu to death by stoning after declaring her guilty of premarital relations, an act punishable under Shariah, or Islamic law.

Tungar-Tudu is pregnant, and has been given Nov. 8 as the deadline to present an appeal. The man accused of having relations with her was released by the same court for “insufficient evidence.”

International law prohibits the death penalty for a pregnant woman, and Human Rights Watch has requested the Nigerian government to intervene.

Two Nigerian human rights groups, and an organization with headquarters in Paris, have also condemned the court´s sentence.