13-years old Umar Farouk's sentence appealed

A Shari’a court in the Hausawa Filin Hockey area of Kano City in Kano state, northern Nigeria, has sentenced a minor to 10 years in prison with menial labour for blasphemy.

Umar Farouk, 13, was found guilty on 10 August of using foul language against God during an argument with a friend.  He has been given a month in which to appeal the verdict.

Umar was convicted on the same day, in the same court and by the same judge who handed down a death sentence on Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, also for blasphemy. See that story here

Like Yahaya, Umar was tried and sentenced without legal representation. He was given leave to appeal but, without, legal help, he had no chance.

This is why we took up his case. Although we were not allowed to meet with Umar or to see a transcript of the court case, we prepared an appeal and filed it at the Kano High Court on September 7, two days before his appeal deadline expired.

Now, we will apply to meet with Umar and will file an application for bail. We have met with some of his relatives and have secured proxy consent to represent him for his appeal.

FRF will not charge fees for this work. We will do this as a charitable service because Umar’s constitutional rights were denied him throughout his detention and trial and because blasphemy is only a religious crime and it is in direct conflict with Nigeria’s secular constitution. 

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