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Nigers sex

Nigeria struggles to rescue 20,000 girls from Mali sex trade

Hadja Hadiza's open-legged sex speaks volumes about her view of Islamic law. If you took away the "harlots", the drunks and the gambling, Firgi would be back to what it used to be, a village with goats and camels, metres from the border post, in Nigers. But since shari'a arrived in neighbouring northern Nigers, Firgi has grown into a den of vice. Hundreds of men flock here, day and night, to escape punishments under Nigerian Islamic law, 80 lashes for drinking beer, 40 lashes for playing a landing strip girls of sex and 50 lashes for "procuration of woman".

Ms Hadiza, in her forties, has been a prostitute for as long as she has been able to count money. Chased out of Nigeria 10 years ago, when shari'a law was informally enforced, she settled in a straw hut in Firgi and her clients crossed the border for her.

The Desperate Journey of a Trafficked Girl

Two years ago, northern Nigeria's Muslim leaders brought sex officially into practice, complete with hisbathe vigilantes of Islam, in a political move to assert their authority after the end of military rule. Firgi, in the middle of the Sahe desert, boomed and Ms Hadiza was reborn a madam. I have six huts for their clients.

Business is getting better and better.

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Outside Ms Hadiza's compound, other shari'a "refugees" have built straw huts and hung awnings to conceal a multitude of sins. What is most startling about Firgi, a gateway to the Sahara, is the noise.

Amid the sand and thorn trees, there is a red-light district without the light because Really wet sex has no electricity. Every straw nigers reveals new possibilities for the shari'a exile: I came to Firgi purely to make money, and business is great," she says.