House condemns stoning as punishment

Star Tribune, Mar. 20, 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House has passed a resolution condemning the punishment of stoning.

It was submitted by Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., and won approval Tuesday on a 416-0 vote. As a result, Congress denounces stoning as a “gross violation of human rights” and the president is urged to seek the suspension of such sentences.

“I do not know the women who have been sentenced to death by stoning and I will likely never visit their villages,” McCollum said. “But I will stand with them as my sisters.”

She originally introduced the resolution last year after hearing of the case of Safiya Hussaini, a Nigerian woman who was convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning.

Hussaini later was acquitted. Another Nigerian woman convicted of adultery, Amina Lawal, has been given the same sentence and is appealing the ruling.

Stoning is an acceptable punishment under Islamic law and can be imposed in countries including Iran, Pakistan and Sudan.

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