United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)reacts as Kano court sentences 13-year-old boy to 10 years imprisonment for blasphemy

Nigeria 13-year-old Umar Farouq was recently sentence to 10 years in prison for blasphemy by Aliyu Kanu, the same judge who passed a death sentence on Kano musician Yahaya Sharif-Aminu for blasphemy, after being found guilty of using “disparaging language on Allah” during a disagreement with his friend.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has reacted to sentencing,Peter Hawkins, UNICEF representative in Nigeria who released a statement condemning the court sentence, insisted that it contradicts the United Nations convention on the rights of the child which Nigeria ratified in 1991. He also called on the Kano state government to urgently reverse the sentencing.

He insisted that the sentence also a violation of the African charter on the rights and welfare of the child – which Nigeria ratified in 2001, and Nigeria’s Child Rights Act 2003, which domesticates Nigeria’s international obligations to protect children’s right to life, survival and development.”

“The sentencing of this child –13-year-old Omar Farouk to 10 years in prison with menial labour is wrong.

“It also negates all core underlying principles of child rights and child justice that Nigeria and by implication, Kano State – has signed on to.

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