Home » Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, the person sentenced to demise for a Whatsapp voice notice

Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, the person sentenced to demise for a Whatsapp voice notice

by newsking24

Music studio assistant Yahaya Sharif-Aminu was sentenced to demise by hanging on August 10 after being convicted of blasphemy by an Islamic courtroom in northern Nigeria.

The judgment doc states that Sharif-Aminu, 22, was convicted for making “a blasphemous statement against Prophet Mohammed in a WhatsApp Group,” which is opposite to the Kano State Sharia Penal Code and is an offence which carries the demise sentence.

The recording was shared broadly, inflicting mass outrage within the extremely conservative, majority Muslim, state, in accordance with varied experiences.

“Whoever insults, defames or utters words or acts which are capable of bringing into disrespect … such a person has committed a serious crime which is punishable by death,” in accordance with a translation of courtroom paperwork supplied to CNN by his attorneys.

Sharif-Aminu, described by his buddy Kabiru Ibrahim, as “kind, religious and dutiful,” admitted expenses of blasphemy throughout his trial, however mentioned he had made a mistake.

No authorized illustration

Under Sharia legislation, a voluntary confession is binding, in accordance with courtroom papers.

Sharif-Aminu’s attorneys, who grew to become concerned within the case solely after his conviction, say he was not allowed authorized illustration earlier than or throughout his trial — in contravention of Nigerian residents’ constitutional proper to authorized illustration.

Outrage as Nigeria sentences 13-year-old boy to 10 years in prison for blasphemy

According to the attorneys, the Sharia courtroom adjourned his case 4 instances as a result of no lawyer got here forth from the Legal Aid Council to symbolize him, doubtless due to the sensitivity of the case. The Sharia courtroom is, nonetheless, statute-bound to supply authorized illustration.

Advocates from the Foundation for Religious Freedom (FRF), a not-for-profit geared toward defending non secular freedom in Nigeria, which is representing Sharif-Aminu, informed CNN he has additionally not been permitted entry to authorized recommendation to arrange an attraction in opposition to his conviction.

The FRF says it has lodged an attraction on his behalf in Kano’s excessive courtroom, a common-law courtroom with constitutional powers.

“The state laws he is accused of breaking are in gross conflict with the Nigerian constitution,” mentioned his counsel, Kola Alapinni.

Kano’s State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje informed clerics in Kano that he would signal Sharif-Aminu’s demise warrant as quickly because the singer had exhausted the appeals course of, native media experiences say.

“I assure you that immediately the Supreme Court affirms the judgment, I will sign it without any hesitation,” Ganduje mentioned, in accordance with Nigeria’s Daily Post newspaper. CNN contacted a spokesman for Governor Ganduje a number of instances for remark however didn’t obtain a response.

Islamic scholar and cleric Bashir Aliyu Umar, who is just not related to the case, however mentioned he had learn the transcript of the courtroom proceedings, informed CNN, “No Muslim will condone it. People hold Prophet Mohammed higher than their parents, and when things like this happen, it will lead to a breakdown of peace because of mob action and attacks against the accused.”

When information of Sharif-Aminu’s alleged crime broke earlier this yr, protesters marched to his household residence and destroyed it, prompting his father to flee to a neighboring city, his attorneys informed CNN. Sharif-Aminu went into hiding, in accordance with Amnesty and his attorneys, however in March he was arrested by the Hisbah Corps, the non secular police power that enforces Sharia legislation in Kano state.

‘A travesty of justice’

Human rights group Amnesty International has described Sharif-Aminu’s trial as a “travesty of justice,” and known as on Kano state authorities to quash his conviction and demise sentence.

“There are serious concerns about the fairness of his trial and the framing of the charges against him based on his Whatsapp messages,” mentioned Amnesty’s Nigeria director Osai Ojigho. “Furthermore, the imposition of the death penalty following an unfair trial violates the right to life,” she added.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has additionally condemned Sharif-Aminu’s demise sentence. It mentioned Nigeria’s blasphemy legal guidelines had been inconsistent with common human rights requirements.

“It is unconscionable that Sharif-Aminu is facing a death sentence merely for expressing his beliefs artistically through music,” mentioned the group’s commissioner, Frederick A. Davie, in an announcement.

The group launched a follow-up assertion saying it had adopted Aminu-Sharif as “a religious prisoner of conscience.”

Atheism frowned upon

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation and faith permeates each aspect of life right here, with prayers routinely mentioned in colleges and public places of work. In addition to blasphemy, atheism is frowned upon by many within the majority Muslim north in addition to in components of the principally Christian south.

Human rights teams have expressed concern over a crackdown on freedom of speech and expression, notably with regards to faith.

On April 28 this yr, Mubarak Bala, president of the Nigerian humanist affiliation, was arrested in Kaduna, one other northern state, after allegedly posting a message on his Facebook web page claiming {that a} Nigerian evangelical preacher was higher than the Prophet Mohammed.

His household and attorneys informed Human Rights Watch they haven’t seen or heard from him since. Bala stays detained with out cost and has not been allowed to speak together with his attorneys or his household, in accordance with USCIRF.

Nigerian playwright and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka is amongst those that not too long ago despatched a message of solidarity to Bala, following his 100th day in confinement on August 6.

“As a child, I remember living in a state of harmonious coexistence all but forgotten in the Nigeria of today, as the plague of religious extremism has encroached,” Soyinka, a former political prisoner, wrote, “I write today to tell you that you are not alone, there is a whole community across the globe that stands beside you and will fight for you.”

Stoning, amputations, flogging

Sharia legislation has been practiced alongside secular legislation in lots of northern Nigerian states since they had been reintroduced in 1999. Nigeria’s Sharia courts may sentence these convicted of offenses to stoning, amputations, and flogging; whereas the previous two are now not carried out, “flogging is a quite common punishment for many crimes, particularly theft,” in accordance with the USCIRF.

Only one demise sentence handed by Sharia courts has been carried out, in accordance with Human Rights Watch. Sani Yakubu Rodi was hanged in 2002 for the homicide of a lady, her four-year-old son, and child daughter.
In 2015 and 2016 9 males and one girl had been sentenced to demise by hanging for insulting the Prophet Mohammed in Kano state, in accordance with a 2019 analysis paper by the USCIRF. The sentences weren’t carried out.

In 2000, a Muslim man within the northern state of Zamfara had his hand amputated for stealing a cow. A yr later, one other man had his hand lower off after he was convicted of stealing bicycles, in accordance with the identical USCIRF analysis paper.

A constitutional violation?

In the eyes of many Nigerians, the adoption of Sharia legislation is a violation of the nation’s structure, as a result of Article 10 ensures non secular freedom when it states that “the Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion.”

“This issue of blasphemy is incompatible with the Nigerian constitution,” Leo Igwe, chair of the board of trustees for the Humanist Association of Nigeria, informed CNN.

“We hope this case will help Nigeria confront the biggest constitutional challenge since independence. What should take precedence, Sharia law, or the Nigerian constitution?”

Governors of the northern states, the place Sharia legislation is practiced, argue that it applies solely to Muslims, and to not residents of different faiths. The FRF says it’s engaged on six different constitutional instances which is able to problem what it sees as authorities interference in Nigerian residents’ proper to spiritual freedom.

One of those, on behalf of the Atheist Society of Nigeria (ASN), is in opposition to the state authorities of Akwa Ibom, within the nation’s southeast, for its involvement within the building of an 8,500-seat worship heart at its High Court.

The ASN says tens of millions of {dollars} in state funding have been spent on the middle, which it says quantities to authorities interference in freedom of faith.

“The government has no business legislating on religions. End of story,” Ebenezer Odubule, a founding member of the FRF informed CNN.

The FRF says it has needed to put a few of its different instances on maintain, to deal with Sharif-Aminu’s case. It can be hampered by an absence of funding to struggle new instances.

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