Appeal Court Reduces Sentence For President Of The Nigerian Humanist Association

CSW welcomes the news that an appeal court in Kano State, Nigeria, has significantly reduced the sentence of imprisoned president of the Nigerian Humanist Association, Mubarak Bala, from 24 years to five. Mr Bala has been detained since 28 April 2020, when he was arrested at his home in Kaduna State following a petition to the Kano State Police Commissioner by a law firm in Kano State, accusing him of insulting Islam in Facebook posts. He was held incommunicado for the first 162 days, and spent 462 days in prison before being formally charged....CONTINUE READING THE ARTICLE FROM THE SOURCE

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On 5 April 2022, Mr Bala was convicted of 18 counts of causing a public disturbance under Sections 210 and 114 of the Kano State Penal Code and sentenced to 24 years in prison by a High Court in Kano State.

On 13 May judges at the Court of Appeal in Kano State unanimously found that Mr Bala’s original sentence was excessive and in contravention of the law. As he has already spent four years, he now has one year left to serve. Mr Bala and his legal team are currently reviewing the judgement to determine if there are grounds for further appeal.

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CSW’s CEO Scot Bower said: ‘We welcome the news of the significant reduction to the unjust sentence imposed on Mubarak Bala. His arrest and conviction violate Nigeria’s constitution and its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights with regard to the freedoms of expression, thought, conscience, and belief. We call for Mr Bala’s immediate and unconditional release, given the excessive period he spent in pre-trial detention. We also continue to call for the repeal of Nigeria’s blasphemy law, and for the government to bring state laws and practices into conformity with the constitution and with the country’s obligations under international

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