Umar Farouk Released

Umar Farouk is Free!

Today, prison guards escorted Umar Farouk to a Kano court where he was handed over to our lawyers. Sixteen-year-old Umar had been found guilty of blasphemy in a Kano magistrates court on August 10 and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with menial labor. 

Our lawyers successfully appealed the sentence. It is a joy to see this young boy free at last. I would like to thank our legal team for their tireless work on behalf of Umar and Yahaya Shariff-Aminu—we appealed his death sentence too but the court remitted him back to the Shariah court for a re-trial.

We also thank the United Nations team who kindly attended today to help with transport and temporary accommodation. And we are grateful to the Kano Court and prison service for the judgment and for their cooperation to make the handover safe and straightforward.

However, Kano continues to hold Yahaya Sharif-Aminu on blasphemy charges. Our legal team filed a Notice of Appeal today regarding Yahaya. We will argue he cannot be tried twice for the same offence and that on quashing his conviction, he should have been discharged and acquitted. We will also argue that blasphemy laws within the Kano Shariah Penal Code are incompatible with the Federal Constitution, which protects the fundamental freedoms of religion, thought, and expression.

Leave a Reply