Nigeria: 1,000 days without Mubarak Bala
Nigerian human rights activist and President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, Mubarak Bala is currently serving a 24-year prison sentence under sections 210 and 114 of the Kano State Penal Code. Mubarak Bala is currently appealing his conviction.
Speaking at the launch of the Freedom of Thought Report 2022, USCIRF Commissioner Fred Davie stated:
“[Bala’s] imprisonment has torn his family apart. Arrested just weeks after his son’s birth, Mubarak Bala has not been able to watch his son grow, take his first steps, speak his first words, all due to Mubarak Bala’s humanist views and beliefs. It is not right. It is not just. This is a freedom of belief [violation] pure and simple, and without equivocation.”
Arrested from his home in Kaduna state on 28 April 2020, Bala was held without charge for more than a year. He faced charges before the Kano State High Court in connection with Facebook posts he is alleged to have made over the course of April 2020, which are deemed to have caused a public disturbance due to their “blasphemous” content.
Leo Igwe, Board Member of Humanists International stated:
“Bala’s one thousand days in prison hurts and haunts the conscience of the Nigerian nation. It illustrates Nigeria’s disconnect from civilized values and its disdain for human and constitutional rights to freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression. Bala’s incarceration shows the ignominious extent that the country could go to violate citizens’ rights in order to appease religious fanatics and theocrats”
Humanists International fears that Nigerian humanist Mubarak Bala is being targeted solely for having exercised his rights to freedom of belief and freedom of expression, which are protected under the Nigerian Constitution, and under international and regional instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory. The organization calls on the Nigerian authorities to quash his conviction, and release him immediately and unconditionally.
Additionally, Humanists International urges the Federal Republic of Nigeria to repeal all blasphemy and de facto blasphemy provisions.
Humanists International is continuing its fundraising efforts to support Mubarak Bala’s legal appeal. You can help to support the campaign for his release with a donation today.
Please show your solidarity and support by donating to Mubarak's legal appeal today. With your support, we will continue to campaign for Mubarak's sentence to be overturned, and to ensure his safe release.
(You will be taken to our dedicated appeal page on JustGiving)