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Nigerian High Commission protest to free Mubarak Bala

In response to the sentencing of Nigerian Humanist Association President Mubarak Bala, Humanists UK is staging a protest outside the Nigerian High Commission. The protest will take place from 4-6pm on Thursday 28 April 2022. The protest, which calls for Bala’s release, will also mark the second anniversary of his arrest.

Last week, Bala was sentenced to 24 years in prison for posting ‘blasphemous’ content on Facebook. Procedural irregularities have been evident throughout his case: Bala remained incarcerated without charge for well over a year. He was denied access to his lawyers and family for an extended period. He has been denied medical attention, Kano State authorities ignored the Abuja High Court’s ruling that he be released on bail. His trial was subject to repeated delays. And the charges against him were duplicated. Not only that, but his case exemplifies the need to abolish blasphemy laws, which intrinsically contravene the right to freedom of religion or belief.

Let us know you’re coming to the protest on Facebook or our website!

Humanists UK has been calling for Bala’s release since his arrest two years ago. The protest continues this call. Humanists UK is urging the Nigerian Government to:

  • overturn Bala’s sentence
  • repeal all blasphemy laws in Nigeria.

Humanists UK members, supporters and the general public are invited to join the protest at 4-6pm on Thursday 28 April outside the Nigerian High Commission, 9 Northumberland Avenue, near Trafalgar Square, London.

Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson will be taking part in the protest. He commented:

‘Mubarak Bala has been treated appallingly. His alleged crimes are no more than expressions of his non-religious beliefs. It is vital that we do not stand by and allow such fundamental rights and freedoms – of expression and of religion or belief – to be disregarded so brutally.

‘We will come together and collectively tell the Nigerian authorities that they must free Mubarak Bala.’

Notes:

For further comment or information, media should contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at press@humanists.uk or phone 020 7324 3072 or 07534 248 596.

Read Humanists International’s statement on the sentencing.

Read more about our international campaigns.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 100,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.

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