Upper Shariah Court to Rule in Ibrahim Appeal Nov. 10

A teenager condemned to death by stoning by a lower Shariah Court in Nigerian State of Bauchi for becoming pregnant outside wedlock is to know her fate, November 10 when an upper Shariah court will give its verdict.

The case of 18-year-old Hajara Ibrahim, which drew the attention of human rights organizations such as Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), is one of two recent cases in which a Nigerian woman was sentenced to death for becoming pregnant out of wedlock earlier.

According to CSW, Ibrahim was sentenced Oct. 5, confessing to have had a physical relationship with a man by the name of Dauda Sani, whom she claims had promised to marry her. Sani, however, denied the claim and since Ibrahim, did not have four male witnesses to support her contentions, he was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Under the controversial Islamic Shariah criminal codes, sex outside wedlock is considered adultery if one of the partners is or has ever been married, and can lead to a mandatory sentence of death by stoning. Also, under Shariah law, men can only be convicted of adultery on the basis of witness statements, while pregnancy is considered sufficient evidence to convict women.