Nigerian Atheist Jailed for 24 Years for Blaspheming Islam

Kano State high court has sentenced Mubarak Bala, a Nigerian atheist, to 24 years in prison in Kano after being convicted of blaspheming Islam.

Mubarak Bala, the President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, pleaded guilty to committing blasphemy against Allah and Prophet Muhammad.

Bala was arrested in 2020 at his residence in Kaduna state and transferred to Kano, his home state.

In April 2020, Bala compared Lagos pastor and president of Synagogue Church of Nations Prophet TB Joshua to Prophet Muhammad on his Facebook page.

A group of Muslims filed a petition to the authorities accusing Bala of publishing uncomplimentary messages about Islam on social media.

Bala has been in detention since then.

UN human rights experts and international rights groups had criticized Bala’s detention and demanded his release.

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, and the majority of its citizens are strongly religious, particularly in its mainly Muslim north and vastly Christian south.

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