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13-year-old Nigerian boy sentenced to 10 years in prison for Blasphemy

13-year-old Nigerian boy, Omar Farouq, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for blasphemy by Sharia Law.

In addition, he will be subjected to “irrelevant work” while in detention this is because the young boy is said to have insulted Allah when he quarrelled with a friend.

The 13-year-old boy’s lawyer, Kola Alapinni, has now appealed against the decision, as he announced this on Twitter. 

He describes the conviction as a “violation of the African Charter for the Rights and Welfare of a Child (and) the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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“The Kano state government will have its day in court,” threatened Alapinni.

The Unicef ​​children’s aid organization spoke up on Wednesday with “deep concern”. “The sentence of this child (…) to ten years imprisonment and irrelevant work is wrong,” wrote the Unicef ​​MP for Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, in a statement. 

“It also violates all fundamental principles of children’s rights and child justice that Nigeria – and thus implicitly the state of Kano – has signed.” Unicef ​​has asked the government to review the case for overturning the verdict, Hawkins said.

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A UNICEF statement this week firmly opposed the sentence, saying it contravened core principles of children’s rights and justice in Nigeria.

The U.N. children’s agency called on Nigerian authorities to immediately review and reverse the sentence.

Milen Kidane, the chief of child protection at UNICEF Nigeria, said that he case has received global condemnation, and that she is certain that it’s something that the U.N. committee on the rights of the child may even take up.

Farouq’s sentence is one of several controversial cases recently passed by the state-sanctioned Sharia court.