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Miss World boycott over Nigerian stoning

PARIS, France -- The reigning Miss France has said she will boycott the Miss World pageant in Nigeria in protest at a death by stoning sentence given to a woman there for having sex outside of marriage.

Sylvie Tellier told France-Inter radio that she felt a moral responsibility to pull out of the November 30 event in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

"We're in the 21st century," Tellier told France-Inter.

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"They're condemning a woman under the pretext that she committed adultery and brought a child into the world. I think the world is upside down!"

Last month, an Islamic court in northern Nigeria rejected single mother Amina Lawal's appeal against a stoning sentence for having sex outside of marriage.

The 30-year-old had given birth to a daughter more than nine months after divorcing her husband.

The sentence is scheduled to be carried out in 2004 after she finishes weaning the baby.

The stoning would be the first in Nigeria since a dozen states adopted Islamic law, or Shariah, in 1999.

Tellier said she was "aware that (her) boycott was not going to alter the course of the world," but it could alter the Miss World pageant. She called on other beauty queens to follow her lead.

"We have to revolt against it."


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