Child rights agency UNICEF on Wednesday called for the Nigerian government to “urgently review the case” of a 13-year-old boy sentenced to ten years in prison for blasphemy last month in majority Muslim Kano State, which practices sharia, the Islamic law.
The Kano State Sharia Court at Feli Hockey, Kano, convicted Omar Farouq of blasphemy on August 10 for using “foul language toward Allah in an argument with a friend” and sentenced him to ten years’ imprisonment with menial labor.
“It also negates all core underlying principles of child rights and child justice that Nigeria – and by implication, Kano State – has signed on to.” UNICEF urged the Nigerian government to review the teenager’s case “with a view to reversing the sentence.”
The same sharia (Islamic law) court that sentenced Farouq also sentenced 22-year-old Yahaya Sharif to death by hanging last month for blasphemy.
“Blasphemy is not recognized by Nigerian law.