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International News Archive
January 01 -  January 06, 2001


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This page contains news for the period January 01, 2001 through January 06, 2001.



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Thursday, January 4, 2001

Nigerian girl to be lashed 180 times for unmarried sex

A story published today in the Christian Science Monitor reports that a 17-year-old Nigerian girl will be lashed 180 times for having engaged in premarital sex.

Gov. Ahmed Sani of Zamfara State said he will not revoke the sentence which was imposed by a court under Islamic law.

The unmarried girl, Bariya Ibrahim Magazu, was sentenced in September by an Islamic court in Tsafe in Zamfara State to be lashed 180 times after she was discovered to be pregnant.

Asked who the father was, the girl named three middle-aged men from her village who she said had pressured her into engaging in sex.

The judge of the local Islamic court, Idris Usman Gusau, ruled that under the terms of Islamic law introduced in Zamfara last year, she had not proven her claims against the three men.

He sentenced her to 80 lashes for premarital sex and 100 for making unproven claims against the men. The lashes will be administered by police or Islamic vigilante members some 40 days after the birth of her child, which took place last week.

Some human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, and governments, including Canada, have expressed concern.

But in an interview with journalists last weekend, President Olusegun Obasanjo, a Christian, said he will not intervene.

Mr. Obasanjo has been criticized by many Christian leaders who see him as overcautious in his reaction to Islamic punishments being introduced by leaders of the mainly Muslim north.

The case is the most high profile one so far in a series of punishments carried out since several northern Nigerian states voted last year to introduce strict Islamic law.


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