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Miss Switzerland considers Nigeria boycott

Miss Switzerland 2002, alongside the two runners-up (miss-suisse.ch) swissinfo.ch

The newly crowned Miss Switzerland says she may boycott the Miss World pageant in Nigeria.

This content was published on September 16, 2002 - 10:09

Nadine Vinzens said she would not take part unless the Nigerian courts lifted a death sentence imposed on a woman for having a child out of wedlock.

"I will wait to see what is decided on October 15 [when the appeal is heard]: if the condemned mother is pardoned, I will take part," the 19-year-old beauty queen told the 20 Minuten newspaper. "If she isn't, that would be unacceptable and I would stay away."

Vinzens, from canton Graubünden, was elected Miss Switzerland in a final in Neuchâtel on Saturday evening.

Participants from France and Belgium have already announced their withdrawal from the November 30 event in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

Stoning sentence

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.

Several governments and human rights groups around the world have urged President Olusegun Obasanjo's administration to intercede.

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

European Parliament members have urged competitors to boycott the Miss World event.

swissinfo with agencies

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