Islamic Court in Nigeria Bans Twitter for Debating on Amputation

An Islamic court in Nigeria has banned the use of Twitter and Facebook websites for conducting debates on the use of amputations as a form of punishment.

The court, in the northern city of Kaduna, backed a case brought by a pro-Sharia group arguing that a rights group was hosting debates on social networking sites, which would mock the Sharia system.

The Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria has said that it would appeal against the ruling, BBC reports.

Sharia judges can order amputations of limbs for petty crimes in some states. The courts mostly deal with domestic issues such as marriage and divorce.

Sharia judges have sentenced some women to death by stoning for adultery, but the sentences have not been carried out.

The newspaper ThisDay quoted the judge's ruling as saying: "An order is hereby given restraining the respondents either by themselves or their agents from opening a chat forum on Facebook,Twitter, or any blog for the purpose of the debate on the amputation of Malam Buba Bello Jangebe."

In 2000, Jangebe made history as the first person in Nigeria to have an amputation carried out under Islamic law after being found guilty of stealing a cow.

The Civil Rights Congress said it had started a Twitter feed, blog and Facebook debate on Jangebe so "Nigerians could air their opinions on Sharia law as a whole".

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