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Stoning death petition grows

A Merton human rights group is to present a letter supported by an estimated one million people to the Nigerian High Commission in a bid to quash a sentence of death by stoning.

Merton Amnesty Group will take the letter, addressed to President Obasanjo, to the high commission in London on September 27.

The group aims to highlight the strength of worldwide public outrage against the sentence passed on Amina Lawal, a divorced mother who was penalised for having a child out of wedlock.

If a forthcoming appeal is not successful, Amina will be given time to wean her daughter Wasila, after which she will be buried up to her waist and stoned until she is dead.

Supporters from more than 100 countries have signed the petition and group organisers anticipate the total will reach one million.

Dr Mike Smith, chairman of Merton Amnesty Group, said: "Human rights campaigning has been transformed. Now a local group like ours can touch the hearts of thousands and enlist their support for individuals like Amina. Publicity saves lives."

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