Despite reporting his ailments to guards at the prison facility in which he is being held, Bala has reportedly been denied access to medical care by the prison authorities, contrary to international norms.
Under rules 24 and 27 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (also known as the ‘Mandela Rules’), the State is responsible for the provision of healthcare to those imprisoned or detained, such care should meet the same standards that are available in the community outside of prison, and all “prisons shall ensure prompt access to medical attention in urgent cases.” Although not legally binding under international law, the Mandela Rules have been adopted by the UN General Assembly as the minimum standard related to the treatment of individuals in detention.
Humanists International calls on the Kano State authorities to grant Bala access to all necessary medical care without delay.
President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, Mubarak Bala, was arrested on 28 April 2020 in connection with Facebook posts which are deemed to have been liable to ‘provoke public disturbance’ due to their “blasphemous” content. Bala was held for more than a year without charge, in contravention of a Federal High Court ruling and his rights guaranteed under the Nigerian Constitution. For the first five months of his detention, he was denied access to his legal representatives. To learn more about his case, see: https://humanists.international/case-of-concern/mubarak-bala/