INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Religious Freedom Tidbits

Published: Wed 27 Aug 2003 08:23 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS ABUJA 001467
SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KIRF PHUM PREL NI
SUBJECT: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TIDBITS
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SHARI'A
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1. (U) The Amina Lawal case is to appear again before the
Katsina State Shari'a Court of Appeal on Wednesday August 27.
Hearings have been delayed three times before for various
reasons. Meanwhile, the Jigawa State Shari'a Court of Appeal
dismissed charges of rape (with a penalty of death by
stoning) against one Sarimu Mohamed Barand on the grounds he
was mentally ill. Barand has been remanded to a psychiatric
hospital, but the basis for the mental illness claim has not
been released.
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STATE SUPPORT FOR PILGRIMAGES
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2. (U) Vice President Atiku told the Muslim-Christian Mutual
Relations group August 25 that the GON is considering
reducing its role in the sponsoring of religious pilgrimages
to Mecca and Jerusalem to "regulating the environment and
providing consular and health support services." There were
no indications of how firm this consideration is and whether
it would be applied during this year's hajj.
3. (U) Meanwhile, Governor Shekarau of majority-Muslim Kano
State has selected a Muslim as the coordinator of the
Christian Pilgrim Board, the body responsible for
coordinating state-funded Christian pilgrimages to Jerusalem.
While numerous officials of the Christian Association of
Nigeria immediately protested, some accepted the decision due
to allegations of corruption surrounding previous Christian
coordinators.
ROBERTS
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