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Video clips: Nigeria

Judicial caning in progress

With comments by C. Farrell

Nigeria -- Judicial caning in Cross River State

In this 30-second video clip from Calabar in Cross River State, filmed in October 2013, we see a man convicted of defiling a young girl receiving the last 15 strokes of the 25 strokes of the cane to which he was sentenced by a local court -- perhaps a "customary" village court, to judge from the ramshackle appearance of the surroundings. The punishment is applied very briskly to the seat of the trousers as he is made to lie face down on a bench. A better method should have been found to restrain him in position, as he keeps trying to turn his backside away from the cane. Just having the miscreant lie flat like this, without securing his limbs in some way, is always unsatisfactory but typically African.

    Somebody, perhaps a local official, is heard counting out the strokes in English. Men are standing around but it is not clear whether they are part of the operation or whether the spectacle was open to the general public. If the latter, it appears that not many people have turned up.

    For the avoidance of doubt, this has nothing to do with Shariah law, as Cross River State is right in the south of the country, not one of the Nigerian states that has been taken over by Islamic ideology.


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