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Kano sharia court sentence 13-year-old boy to 10 years imprisonment for blasphemy, UNICEF reacts

A 13-year-old boy named Umar Farouq has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for blasphemy against ProphetMohammed by the sharia court in Kano state.

Umar was handed the 10 years sentence by Aliyu Kanu, the same judge who sentenced singer Yahaya Sharif-Aminu to death for same reason. Umar was found using ill words on Allah while having a argument with his friend.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has condemned the sentence of the 13-year-old child.

Peter Hawkins, UNICEF representative in Nigeria insisted that the judgement 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.

The statement read;

“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.

“The sentence is in contravention of the United Nations convention on the rights of the child, which Nigeria ratified in 1991. It is 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.”

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