The FIDH strongly condemns first execution under sharia law

Press release

The FIDH strongly condemns the execution on January 3 of Sani Yukubu Rodi that was convicted by the Sharia court in Katsina of the murder of a woman and her two children. According to confirmed information, Sani Yukubu did not benefit from a fair trial and did not have to the possibility to appeal against the decision of the court. According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Nigeria, "everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law".

The FIDH is very preoccupied by this first execution under Sharia law since it was extended in a dozen of northern states in Nigeria. The FIDH reiterates its total opposition to death penalty. The FIDH fears that other death sentences will be carried out in the future in Nigeria. The FIDH fears that executions under Sharia law will lead to further tensions between Christians and Muslims in northern Nigeria.

The FIDH is particularly concerned with the case of Safiya Hussainin Tungar-Tudu, a 30 year-old woman who was sentenced to death by the upper sharia court Gwadabawa on October 10 for committing adultery. The case is currently before the court of appeal of Sokoto, which should decide on Monday whether she will be stoned to death. Another woman, Hafstau Abubakar faces trial for adultery and risks the same cruel capital punishment.

The FIDH urges the Nigerian authorities to make sure that the legislation cannot result in the imposition of such capital punishments and to take all necessary measures to ensure the respect of fundamental rights and freedoms in accordance with the provisions of the international instruments for the protection of human rights and the inherent right to life of every human being.

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