Nigeria: one year on from sentencing, let Mubarak know that he is not forgotten


  • post Type / Action Alert - Live
  • Date / 5 April 2023

On 5 April 2022, President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, Mubarak Bala, was sentenced to 24 years in prison by a Kano state court. One year on, humanists around the world stand firm in their commitment to fight for justice in his case.

Bala’s case has been mired with irregularities since the outset. Arrested from his home in Kaduna state on 28 April 2020, Mubarak Bala was held without charge for more than a year before he was charged in connection with Facebook posts he is alleged to have made over the course of April 2020.

Almost two years after his arrest, Bala was sentenced to 24 years in prison having pled guilty to charges of ‘conducting himself in a manner likely to cause breach of public peace’ in connection with a series of Facebook posts deemed ‘blasphemous’ by some. Humanists International understands that Bala was subjected to pressure in order to secure a guilty plea.

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.

What are we doing?

As it is a very complex case, Humanists International is working closely with a team of lawyers to ensure that Bala’s appeal is heard before the Kano State High Court.

What can you do?

While the legal team focuses on his appeal, it is up to us in the wider humanist community to do what we can to keep Bala’s case in the public eye, on the agendas of diplomats, and to ensure that Mubarak stays strong physically and mentally.

There are several actions you can take:

  1. Send Mubarak a letter of support and solidarity to help lift his spirits – we’ll make sure it reaches him
  2. Share information about his case on social media, at public events, or with your governments
  3. Make a donation to support his appeal

Andrew Copson, President of Humanists International

Andrew Copson, President of Humanists International stated:

“It has been a year since our colleague and friend Mubarak Bala was given an outrageous sentence, following a deeply flawed and unsound legal trial.

“Humanists International has been working round the clock, with our allies and like minded organizations, to have this conviction quashed and Bala released immediately and unconditionally.

“We will continue to call for this, and to recruit more and more activists to this cause until justice is done.

“Let us stand together as a beacon of hope and solidarity. Mubarak Bala, your courage and resilience inspire us all to continue the fight for a world where reason and compassion prevail.”

Need some inspiration? Take a look at our image gallery of messages already sent:


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)

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