Sunday, September 20, 2020

Outrage as Nigeria sentences 13-year-old boy to 10 years in jail for blasphemy

Omar Farouq was convicted in a Sharia court docket in Kano State in northwest Nigeria after he was accused of utilizing foul language towards Allah in an argument with a good friend.

He was sentenced on August 10 by the identical court docket that just lately sentenced a studio assistant Yahaya Sharif-Aminu to demise for blaspheming Prophet Mohammed, in line with legal professionals.

Farouq’s punishment is in violation of the African Constitution of the Rights and Welfare of a Youngster and the Nigerian structure, mentioned his counsel Kola Alapinni, who informed Carihargater they filed an enchantment on his behalf on September 7.

Alapinni informed Carihargater he or different legal professionals engaged on the case haven’t been granted entry to Farouq by authorities in Kano State.

He mentioned he discovered about Farouq’s case by likelihood when engaged on the case of Sharif-Aminu, who was sentenced to demise for blasphemy on the Kano Higher Sharia Court docket.

“We discovered they had been convicted on the identical day, by the identical decide, in the identical court docket, for blasphemy and we discovered nobody was speaking about Omar, so we needed to transfer rapidly to file an enchantment for him,” he mentioned.

“Blasphemy isn’t acknowledged by Nigerian legislation. It’s inconsistent with the structure of Nigeria.”

The lawyer mentioned Farouq’s mom had fled to a neighboring city after mobs descended on their residence following his arrest.

“Everybody right here is scared to talk and residing underneath worry of reprisal assaults,” he mentioned.

UNICEF Wednesday issued a press release “expressing deep concern” in regards to the sentencing.

“The sentencing of this little one — 13-year-old Omar Farouk — to 10 years in jail with menial labour is flawed,” mentioned Peter Hawkins, UNICEF consultant in Nigeria. “It additionally negates all core underlying ideas of kid rights and little one justice that Nigeria — and by implication, Kano State — has signed on to.”

Kano State, like most predominantly Muslim states in Nigeria, practices Sharia legislation alongside secular legislation.

Carihargater contacted a spokesman for the Kano State governor for remark however had not heard again earlier than publication.

UNICEF has known as on the Nigerian authorities and the Kano State authorities to urgently assessment the case and reverse the sentence, the group mentioned in a press release.

“This case additional underlines the pressing have to speed up the enactment of the Kano State Youngster Safety Invoice in order to make sure that all youngsters underneath 18, together with Omar Farouq are protected — and that every one youngsters in Kano are handled in accordance with little one rights requirements,” Hawkins mentioned.

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