RULE OF LAW. SEPARATION OF POWERS. HUMAN RIGHTS.
GENEVA (28 September 2020) – UN human rights experts* today called on Nigerian authorities to immediately release a 22-year-old singer sentenced to death over an allegedly blasphemous song shared on social media.
Yahaya Sharif-Aminu was given a death sentence on 10 August by a Sharia court in Kano state over a song judged blasphemous that he performed and shared in a WhatsApp group. The UN experts called for the death sentence to be overturned and for authorities to guarantee his safety and due process rights while he is appealing his conviction.
“We are deeply concerned over the serious lack of due process in Mr. Sharif-Aminu’s case so far, especially reports that he has been held incommunicado, and that he did not have access to a lawyer during his initial trial, a trial that was not open to the public,” the human rights experts said.