On August 19, a Nigerian appeals court upheld Amina Lawal’s sentence of death by stoning, five months after she confessed to having a baby out of wedlock and was convicted of adultery by controversial Sharia law, according to the BBC. The alleged father of the child was acquitted of an identical adultery charge by simply denying the charge. The Nigerian federal government has declared that the harsh Islamic court sentence is unconstitutional, but the northern Nigerian states that delivered the sentence have yet to respond. “This judgment will be carried out as soon as your baby is weaned,” Judge Aliyu Abdullahi of the Sharia court decreed.
Following the example of the a campaign that saved Sufiya Hussaini from stoning last October, human rights organizations from at least fourteen countries have launched initiatives in Lawal’s defense. On Sept. 27, Amnesty International director Kate Allen presented a petition of 1.3 million signatures to Nigerian high officials. Amnesty International encourages concerned patrons of this American-based site to contact Ambassador Jibril Muhammad Aminu by providing a pre-written letter and form.