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Commission Speaks Out On Stoning Sentence

23/08/02

Commission Speaks Out On Stoning Sentence

The New Zealand Human Rights Commission is urging the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission to take action over Nigerian woman Amina Lawal’s sentence to death by stoning.

Chief Human Rights Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan said that the Commission was in a position to approach fellow organisations in other countries over situations concerning violations of basic human rights.

“While the Commission’s mandate is a domestic one, the Commission is able to work towards the more effective promotion and protection of human rights with its fellow organisations in countries around the world” said Ms Noonan.

The Nigerian National Human Rights Commission was established in 1995 and is intended to better fulfil Nigeria’s obligations under international human rights law.

Nigeria is a state party to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The ICCPR protects the rights to life and states that, in countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentences of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes.

The Nigerian constitution also guarantees the right to life, the right to freedom from torture and the right to fair trial.

Ms Noonan noted that a sentence similar to that of Amina Lawal’s was imposed on another woman earlier this year but was then overturned on appeal.

Ends

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