Nigeria Sentences Woman to Death for Having Sex

A woman, Safiya Hussaini, was recently sentenced to death in the Nigerian state of Sokoto — which is one of a growing number of Nigerian states to adopt an Islamic law code. Here crime? She had premarital sex. Not surprisingly, Hussaini alleged sexual partner was acquitted by the same court.

Last year, a teenaged girl in Nigeria was sentenced to 180 lashes for having sex. The sentence was later reduced to a “mere” 100 lashes which were administered in January 2001.

Hussaini appealed her conviction, and it has been temporarily stayed. She claims that the man who was acquitted of having sex with her in fact repeatedly. Under the strict Islamic law in place in Sokoto, since Hussaini was the only witness to the alleged crime, her testimony was essentially meaningless.


Woman’s stoning delayed by Sharia Court. European Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, December 4, 2001.

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