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Nigeria’s sharia blasphemy law not unconstitutional, court rules

Nigeria’s sharia blasphemy law not unconstitutional, court rules

A Nigerian court ruled that Islamic religious law does not violate the constitution, dismissing a test-case challenge from a singer who was sentenced to death two years ago on the charge of blasphemy. But in a majority decision, the court in northern Kano state also upheld a lower court's call for a retrial. Yahaya Aminu Sharif was convicted of having shared a blasphemous message on WhatsApp and was sentenced to death in August 2020 by a sharia court. The high court in Kano threw out the conviction and ordered a retrial but Sharif appealed, challenging the constitutionality of the religious…
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LGBTQ+ Nigerians fear violence after sharia court death sentence

LGBTQ+ Nigerians fear violence after sharia court death sentence

PELUMI SALAKO A Nigerian sharia court's decision to sentence three men to death by stoning for homosexual acts could trigger similar cases in the country's states that apply Islamic law and unleash a wave of homophobic violence, LGBTQ+ rights groups said. Male same-sex relationships are punishable by up to 14 years in prison under Nigerian national law, but 12 states in the mainly Muslim north also use parallel sharia courts to punish residents for crimes ranging from adultery to blasphemy. Last month's ruling in the northern state of Bauchi has raised fears of an increase in homophobia in Africa's most populous…
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Nigerian minor acquitted on appeal following blasphemy conviction

Nigerian minor acquitted on appeal following blasphemy conviction

HAMZA IBRAHIM A court in northern Nigeria has acquitted a minor at an appeal hearing after he had been sentenced to 10 years in prison with menial labour under Islamic law in a conviction that caused a global outcry. In August, a sharia court in the northern city of Kano handed Omar Farouq the jail term following accusations that he made blasphemous comments in an argument. The judges who acquitted him yesterday said he was 17 at the time of his sentencing and not 13 as stated in previous hearings. His initial conviction was condemned by rights groups, the United…
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Blasphemy convictions spark Nigerian debate over sharia law

Blasphemy convictions spark Nigerian debate over sharia law

ALEXIS AKWAGYIRAM and ABRAHAM ACHINGA  FUAD Adeyemi, an imam in Nigeria's capital Abuja, respects those who believe that a 22-year-old man accused of sharing a blasphemous message on WhatsApp should be punished. But he thinks the death sentence is too harsh. He was referring to a ruling handed to Yahaya Aminu Sharif by a sharia court in the northern state of Kano in August. On the same day, the court sentenced a 13-year-old boy, Omar Farouq, to 10 years in prison, also for blasphemy. The sentences caused an international outcry and sparked a broader debate in Nigeria about the role…
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‘Music is not a crime’: U.N. experts urge Nigeria to lift singer’s death sentence

‘Music is not a crime’: U.N. experts urge Nigeria to lift singer’s death sentence

U.N. rights experts have asked Nigeria to release a 22-year-old singer who was condemned to death over an allegedly blasphemous song, and said the sentence broke international law. Yahaya Aminu Sharif was sentenced last month by a sharia court in Kano, the commercial hub of Nigeria's mostly Muslim north after he performed the song and shared it on WhatsApp. "Music is not a crime," read a joint statement from the group of U.N. rapporteurs. "Application of the death penalty for artistic expression or for sharing a song on the internet is a flagrant violation of international human rights law, as…
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Nigerian musician sentenced to hanging for blasphemy

Nigerian musician sentenced to hanging for blasphemy

AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER A Northern Nigerian musician from the state of Kano has been sentenced to death by hanging for blaspheming against the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.  An upper Sharia court in the area of Kano stated that musician Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, 22, was guilty of committing blasphemy through a song of his, which circulated via Whatsapp back in February. Sharif-Aminu, who resides in the Kano Municipal, was taken to court by Islamic police on a count charge of inciting religious creed contrary to section 382 (b) of Kano State Sharia Penal Code Law 2000, a law which does not apply to…
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