From News.Au, with thanks to Two Stellas.
A UN human rights expert raised the alarm today over the case of a man who is on death row in northern Nigeria awaiting execution by stoning after a Sharia court found him guilty of sodomy.
Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, called for the entire process that led the man’s sentencing to death to be reviewed immediately.
“Sodomy cannot be considered one of the most serious crimes for which, under international law, the death penalty can be prescribed. The punishment is wholly disproportionate,” Alston said in a press statement at the end of a visit to Nigeria.
Africa’s most populous country, with 140 million inhabitants, is split about evenly between Muslims in the North and Christians in the South…
Twelve northern states introduced Sharia, or Islamic law, in 2000, shortly after Nigeria returned to civilian rule following 15 years of military dictatorship.
Alston said he had no way of knowing if the case was an isolated one as he had stumbled upon the man by chance while investigating death row in the Kano prison. While no other sodomy convictions had been brought to his attention, it was possible there were other cases.
Ten Nigerian women have been sentenced to death by stoning for having sex outside of wedlock since Sharia was brought in. The sentences sparked international outcries and all were overturned on appeal.
The introduction of Sharia alienated Christians living in northern regions and led to inter-religious fighting that has killed thousands of people.