Humanists at Risk: Mubarak Bala

Humanists at Risk: Mubarak Bala

Mubarak Bala, President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria

Mubarak Bala, President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria

Mubarak Bala, President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, was arrested by the Nigerian police in April 2020 in connection with a series of Facebook posts that some deemed to be ‘blasphemous’ and ‘likely to cause a public disturbance’.

Mubarak was held without charge for more than a year, denied access to a legal team for several months and denied bail.

In 2022, following intensive campaigning and a long legal battle, we received the news that Bala had been sentenced to 24 years in prison. The news of his prison sentence shocked the global humanist community. Working closely with Mubarak and his legal team, and thanks to the donations we received from our Members and supporters, we began the process of his appeal.

In May 2024, following a successful legal appeal, we are pleased to report his sentence has now been reduced to five years.

Mubarak now has one year left of his sentence to serve however our work is not over; the state still has the opportunity to appeal. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will work to support Mubarak until his safe release. You can read the latest updates on Mubarak’s case here.

How you can help

At Humanists International, we believe everyone should have the right to express their non-religious beliefs without facing repercussions like this. Sadly, our research on the Freedom of Thought Report shows that 70% of the world’s population live in countries where the expression of humanist values is severely repressed.

Worse still, outspoken humanists and atheists who do express their beliefs or criticize religion often face discrimination, ostracism, prison terms, or even death – be it from state-sanctioned punishment or vigilante violence. The support we are able to offer humanists like Mubarak Bala is entirely dependant on the donations we receive each year.

If you would like to help someone facing persecution as a result of their non-religious beliefs this year, please consider a donation to protect humanists at risk today. Every contribution we receive will be used wisely to help as many people as possible, prioritizing those at the greatest risk and whom we know we are best positioned to help.

Protect Humanists at Risk

If you believe every humanist should have the right to a life free from persecution, please show your solidarity and support with a donation today. With your support, we can continue to help as many people as possible in the weeks and months ahead.

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