The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called on the Kano state government to urgently reverse the sentencing of Umar Farouq, a 13-year-old boy, to 10 years in prison for blasphemy.
A Sharia court in Kano convicted Farouq after he was accused of using “disparaging language on Allah” during a disagreement with his friend.
Farouq was sentenced by Aliyu Kanu, the same judge who passed a death sentence on Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, a musician, “for blasphemy”.
Hawkins condemned the sentence of Farouk, saying it undermines child rights principles.
“The sentencing of this child –13-year-old Omar Farouk to 10 years in prison with menial labour is wrong,” he said in a statement.
“It also negates all core underlying principles of child rights and child justice that Nigeria and by implication, Kano State – has signed on to.