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Home > fundamentalism / shrinking secular space > Nigeria: Mubarak Bala, President of Nigerian humanists, under arrest for (...)

Nigeria: Mubarak Bala, President of Nigerian humanists, under arrest for blasphemy

Friday 8 May 2020, by siawi3

Source: https://humanists.international/2020/04/mubarak-bala-president-of-nigerian-humanists-arrested-for-blasphemy/

Mubarak Bala, President of Nigerian humanists, under arrest

Date / 29 April 2020

Mubarak Bala, the President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, was arrested yesterday in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria.

ACTION ALERT: What you can do to save Mubarak

A photo of Mubarak Bala from 2014

Mubarak Bala was arrested on 28 April by two police officers who took him from his home. The current whereabouts of Bala – who faces allegations of having insulted the Prophet Muhammad in a Facebook post – are unknown, however, the Commissioner of Kaduna State confirmed that he had been released to Kano State Police Command.

Mubarak Bala is well-known within the global humanist community after he was detained in a psychiatric ward on the grounds that he was an atheist. With the the support of Humanists International, Mubarak was freed on 3 July 2014.

Leo Igwe, founder of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, said:

“All of us at the Humanist Association of Nigeria are deeply worried by the arrest and detention of our president, Mubarak Bala.

We urge the Inspector General of Police, the governor of Kaduna, Mallam Elrufai to ensure his immediate release.”

Gary McLelland, CEO of Humanists International, commented:

“News of Mubarak’s arrest is of serious concern to the international humanist community. Mubarak is a well known and hugely respected activist.”

“We are working with our Members, Associates and Supporters to coordinate a global response to have Mubarak freed.”

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Source: https://humanists.international/2020/04/action-alert-what-you-can-do-to-save-mubarak/

ACTION ALERT: What you can do to save Mubarak

#FreeMubarakBala

Date / 29 April 2020

Mubarak Bala is the President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria. In 2014 Humanists International rescued him from a psychiatric ward where he was detained on the grounds that he was an atheist. Mubarak is detained again. Here is what you can do to help us to rescue Mubarak.

1 May 2020: Updated briefing below

On 28 April 2020, Mubarak was arrested following allegations that he had insulted the Prophet Muhammad in a Facebook post.

At the time of writing, it is unclear whether he has been formally charged. We have reason to believe that if Mubarak were to be charged with “blasphemy” and he is found guilty, he could face the death penalty.

We now need your help.

There are three things that your humanist organization (or you as an individual) can do to help us to save Mubarak:

spread the news online to raise awareness among your members and beyond
contribute to our crowdfunding campaign to hire a legal team for Mubarak: gofundme.com/free-mubarak-bala
Raise awareness with your government using our template letter and briefing:
Mubarak Bala – INDIVIDUAL Briefing (pdf)
Action Paper – Mubarak Bala (pdf)
Template letter RE Mubarak Bala (.docx)

It is vital to act fast and to coordinate our actions on a global scale. Please keep us informed of any actions you take and any responses you receive from your Government, Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassadors, etc. Let’s work together to #FreeMubarakBala.

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Source: https://humanists.international/2020/05/international-coalition-to-protest-arrest-of-nigerian-humanist/

International coalition to protest arrest of Nigerian humanist

Date / 3 May 2020

Atheists, faith leaders, and other grassroots activists have organized an international Week of Protest to help bring attention to the ongoing plight of Mubarak Bala, the President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria.

Photo: Mubarak Bala, President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria

On April 28, Mubarak Bala was arrested in his home in Nigeria following allegations that he insulted the Prophet Muhammad on social media. His legal team has been unable to access Bala and are asking authorities to clarify where he is being held.

“News of Mubarak’s arrest is of serious concern to the international humanist community. Mubarak is a well known and hugely respected activist,” said Andrew Copson, President of Humanists International, the organization coordinating Bala’s legal defence. “We urgently call upon the Nigerian authorities to clarify Mubarak’s current status, and to have him safely released as soon as possible.”

The Week of Protest will begin on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, one week after Mubarak’s arrest. Organizers are calling on the international community to take a photo of themselves with the #FreeMubarakBala hashtag and their geographic location and donate to the legal fund supporting Mubarak’s efforts. Those interested can join the Week of Protest Facebook event and learn more about the campaign at www.freemubarakbala.org.

“Freedom of expression, including the freedom to question and criticize, are essential human rights,” said Yvonne Nyahe, Ghana Director of Foundation Beyond Belief, an international humanist relief charity. “We are deeply concerned about the safety of our colleague and fellow humanist, Mubarak Bala, who was arrested for exercising this freedom. We call for his immediate release, and ask the international community to join us in affirming the right to express humanist beliefs.”