Is there hope for the child bride accused of murder in Nigeria?

As a 14-year-old girl faces a possible death sentence after allegedly poisoning her husband, campaigners argue that forced child marriages in Nigeria must end

Wasila Tasi'u and her lawyer
14-year old Wasila Tasiu with her defence counsel during her trial in October Photograph: Aminu Abubakar/AFP

 

Today, Wasila Tasi’u has her day in court, though she may struggle to see over the witness box. Aged just 14, Tasi’u is accused of lacing food prepared for a celebration two weeks after her wedding with rat poison, killing her 35-year-old husband, Umar Sani, and three others.

The prosecution is seeking the death penalty if she is convicted at Gezawa High Court in northern Nigeria. Four Nigerian men were hanged in 2013 – the first known executions in the country since 2006. 1,233 Nigerians are currently under a death sentence, according to The Death Penalty Worldwide.

Hussaina Ibrahim, a senior lawyer at the Kano branch of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) who representing Tasi’u says the teenager has “no business” being on trial.

“We are against the trial. The whole process violates her fundamental rights. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child says she should be in education. She should be in school,” she says.

 

Read More: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/dec/22/is-there-hope-for-the-child-bride-accused-of-in-nigeria

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