- Kano state government has been asked to reverse the judgment sentencing Omar Farouq to 10-year jail
- UNICEF, in a statement, stated that the conviction of the 13-year-old boy underlined the principle of child rights
- Farouq was sentenced on August 10, 2020, after he was found guilty of alleged insult towards Allah during an argument with friends
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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has berated the Kano government over the controversial 10-year-jail sentence of 13-year-old Omar Farouq for alleged blasphemy by a Shariah court.
In a statement on Wednesday, September 16, UNICEF through its Nigerian representative Peter Hawkins described the judgment by the Kano Shariah court as wrong, underlying principles of child rights.
Legit.ng recalls that Farouq was convicted on August 10, 2020, after he was found guilty of alleged insult towards Allah by Aliyu Kanu, the same judge who sentenced a musician, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, to death for blaspheming Prophet Mohammed.
Baba-Jibo Ibrahim, the spokesman for Kano region justice ministry, said the boy bagged the 10 years prison term for making derogatory statements toward Allah in an argument with a friend.
UNICEF, in a reaction, urged the "Nigerian government and the Kano state government to urgently review the case with a view to reversing the sentence."
“The sentencing of this child to 10 years in prison with menial labour is wrong. It also negates all cores 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," part of the statement read.
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Meanwhile, the United States has condemned the death sentence passed on Kano singer, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a song he circulated on social media.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in a statement on August 11 said the Nigerian government must overturn the death sentence on the 22-year-old musician.
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