Atheist detained as a psychiatric patient still needs your help

  • post Type / Action Alert
  • Date / 3 October 2014

This summer, IHEU reported on the case of an atheist, Mubarak Bala, detained in a psychiatric ward because he was an atheist, and wasn’t afraid to say so. We worked closely with online activists and Nigerian humanists in-country, and after three weeks Mubarak was finally released.

But his situation, in a country where many regarded ex-Muslims as “apostates” and extremist Islamists pose a serious threat, we remain concern for Mubarak’s welfare and current, precarious situation.

Some of the activists who worked with us campaigning for Mubarak and similarly concerned for his welfare have appealed for funding to help him and produced the video above. You can now give to the campaign toward securing a future and the continuation of Mubarak’s formal education by donating here. Please give what you can to help put a persecuted atheist’s life back on track:

You saved his life.  Now save his future

Mubarak Bala

Mubarak Bala

Mubarak Bala is a Nigerian national who renounced Islam.  For that he was beaten, drugged and imprisoned in the secure psychiatric wing of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital by his own family.

A small group of individuals around the world started the #FreeMubarak campaign on Twitter and enlisted the aid of the International Humanist & Ethical Union (IHEU) in order to get him free.

We were able to draw the attention of worldwide media to his plight and raised public awareness.  You can see the impact the campaign had:

The Guardian: Nigerian atheist faces death threats after release from psychiatric ward
The BBC: Nigerian Atheist Held In Psych Ward
HuffPost:  Nigerian Family Reportedly Forces Mubarak Bala Into Mental Ward For Declaring Himself An Atheist
IBTimes: Nigeria: Atheist Mubarak Bala Forced Into Psych Ward By Muslim Family
Vice:  Nigerian Man Deemed Mentally Ill For Declaring Himself an Atheist
The Globe & Mail: Nigerian atheist, sent to psychiatric ward by family, now a fugitive in Muslim north
and many, many more.

Happily, our fight was cut short when, due to a strike at the hospital, Mubarak was released and moved to a safe location.But that isn’t the end of Mubarak’s story.

Mubarak is now homeless and without a means of support.  He has also been accepted for a Masters Degree in International Development and Social Change course at Clark University of Massachusetts,

He also needs living expenses and the means to get there from Nigeria.

What We Need & What You Get

We need to help this man with:

  • University tuition fees
  • Text books
  • Living expenses until he can find suitable employment to fit around his studies
  • Travel expenses

The Impact

With your help, we can stop religious judgment from stripping a man of his education and quality of life. Your donation will:

  • Allow him to finish his higher education.
  • Enable him to find employment in his field of expertise and give back to society.
  • Let him start afresh, away from the danger of false imprisonment and possible death.

Risks & Challenges

There are issues with gaining a temporary student visa for entry into the US and we are currently in discussion with the US Embassy in Nigeria.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you can’t contribute financially, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help:

  • Offer flights, gift cards or accommodation near Clark University.
  • Share on social media and make some noise…

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