Nigeria sentences 13-year-old boy to 10 years in prison for blasphemy, prompting outrage


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 pal.

He was sentenced on August 10 by the identical court docket that not too long ago sentenced a studio assistant Yahaya Sharif-Aminu to loss of life for blaspheming Prophet Mohammed, based on attorneys.

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

Farouq was tried as an grownup as a result of he has attained puberty and has full duty underneath Islamic regulation.

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

He stated he came upon about Farouq’s case by probability when engaged on the case of Sharif-Aminu, who was sentenced to loss of life for blasphemy on the Kano Higher Sharia Court docket.

“We came upon they have been convicted on the identical day, by the identical decide, in the identical court docket, for blasphemy and we came upon nobody was speaking about Omar, so we needed to transfer rapidly to file an attraction for him,” he stated.

“Blasphemy will not be acknowledged by Nigerian regulation. It’s inconsistent with the structure of Nigeria.”

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

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

UNICEF Wednesday issued an announcement “expressing deep concern” in regards to the sentencing.

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

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

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

UNICEF has referred to as on the Nigerian authorities and the Kano State authorities to urgently assessment the case and reverse the sentence, the group stated in an announcement.

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

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