Kano court sentences 13-year-old boy to 10 years imprisonment for blasphemy, UNICEF reacts

September 17, 2020
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A 13-year-old Umar Farouq has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for blasphemy, by a Shariah court in Kano state, leading to public outrage.

Umar was handed the jail sentence by Aliyu Kanu, the same judge who passed a death sentence on Kano musician Yahaya Sharif-Aminu for blasphemy, after being found guilty of using “disparaging language on Allah” during a disagreement with his friend.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has now reacted to the judgement condemning it.

Peter Hawkins, UNICEF representative in Nigeria insisted that the judgement contradicts the United Nations convention on the rights of the child which Nigeria ratified in 1991. He also called on the Kano state government to urgently reverse the sentencing.

The statement read;

“The sentencing of this child –13-year-old Omar Farouk to 10 years in prison with menial labour is wrong.

“It also negates all core underlying principles of child rights and child justice that Nigeria and by implication, Kano State – has signed on to.

“The sentence is in contravention of the United Nations convention on the rights of the child, which Nigeria ratified in 1991. It is also a violation of the African charter on the rights and welfare of the child – which Nigeria ratified in 2001, and Nigeria’s Child Rights Act 2003, which domesticates Nigeria’s international obligations to protect children’s right to life, survival and development.”

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