iAfrica

Stay Smart About South Africa

Rights Groups Condemn Hefty Prison Sentence of Nigerian Pubescent

Share with your network!

UN child rights agency UNICEF has condemned the sentencing of a 13-year-old boy to 10 years in prison for blasphemy in northern Nigeria. Omar Farouq was convicted in a Sharia court in Kano State in northwest Nigeria after he was accused of using foul language toward Allah in an argument with a friend. He was sentenced on August 10 by the same court that recently sentenced a studio assistant Yahaya Sharif-Aminu to death for blaspheming Prophet Mohammed, according to lawyers. Farouq’s punishment is in violation of the African Charter of the Rights and Welfare of a Child and the Nigerian constitution, said his counsel Kola Alapinni, who told CNN they filed an appeal on his behalf on September 7. “Blasphemy is not recognized by Nigerian law. It is inconsistent with the constitution of Nigeria.” The lawyer said Farouq’s mother had fled to a neighboring town after mobs descended on their home following his arrest. Kano State, like most predominantly Muslim states in Nigeria, practices Sharia law alongside secular law. UNICEF has called on the Nigerian government and the Kano State government to urgently review the case and reverse the sentence, the organization said in a statement.

SOURCE: CNN

Share with your network!