Appeals for saving Layla’s life [Archives:2003/644/Local News]

June 23 2003

Mohammed bin Sallam
Hundreds of Arab personalities have recently appealed to Yemen's president asking him to interfere in his capacity as chairman of the Supreme Judiciary Council to save the girl Layla Radman Aesh from executing the verdict of stoning her to death on charge of adultery passed by an Aden court two years ago.
Signatories on a memorandum published last year by Arab Information & References Center on violence against women, asked to stop execution of that verdict as she was still minor of 16 years old. The appeal recalled the campaign led by the Center last year and covered by Yemen Times and other newspapers. It has also mentioned that she did not get any legal defense and was not given a chance to defend herself, especially that she had committed adultery under duress.
Signatories have also stressed that stoning penalty, given the circumstances of Layla's case, implies torture and discrimination and far away from religious scholars' interpretations and the Islamic Sharia principles. Carrying out the verdict could help the campaign of distorting the image of Islam, accusing it of violating human rights.
The signatories expressed their hope for an immediate presidential pardon preventing the stoning penalty.