First UA: 73/20 Index: AFR 44/2272/2020 Nigeria Date: 8 May2020
ACTIVIST ARRESTED AND DETAINED
On 28 April, Mubarak Bala, a prominent Nigerian humanist, was arrested by police
officers at his home in Kaduna, north-western Nigeria, and accused of blasphemy
after he wrote a post on Facebook expressing his beliefs on Monday, 27 April. On
30 April he was transferred to Kano, a conservative region in northern Nigeria where
religious dissent is unpopular. He is currently being detained in solitary
confinement at Kano state police command. He has been denied access to his
family and his lawyer. According to his associates, he has been subjected to ill-
treatment in police custody.
TAKE ACTION: WRITE AN APPEAL IN YOUR OWN WORDS OR USE THIS MODEL LETTER
President of Nigeria
Nigerian Presidential Complex
Aso Rock Presidential Villa
Federal Capital Territory
Twitter: @MBuhari @NigeriaGov
I write to express my concern about Mubarak Bala, a prominent humanist, who is currently in detention at
Kano state police command.
On 28 April, Mubarak Bala was arrested by police officers at his home in Kaduna and accused of blasphemy
after writing a post on Facebook post expressing his beliefs on xx April.He was arrested and detained at
Gbabasawa Police Station, Kaduna. He was held incommunicado, and his laptop and phones were seized.
On 30 April, he was transferred to Kano, outside his home state, where he is currently being detained in
police custody. Since then his family and his lawyer have been denied access to him. Furthermore, according
to his associates he has been subjected to ill-treatment in police custody.
I am extremely concerned that if Mubarak Bala is charged under Kano state’s Sharia law, he will face the
death penalty. It appears that transferring Mubarak Bala to Kano, where Sharia law is practised, is a
premeditated plan to ensure that he is brought under Sharia law.
Mubarak Bala’s arrest and detention is in violation of his right to freedom of expression, as outlined in Section
38 of the Nigerian constitution of 1999 (as amended).
In light of the above, I urge you to:
Immediately and unconditionally release Mubarak Bala;
Pending his release, ensure he has regular access to his family and lawyer, and that he is not ill-
Ensure his safety and that of his family.