Humanists Urge Police IG, El - Rufai To Release Detained Mubarak - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Humanists Urge Police IG, El - Rufai To Release Detained Mubarak

                  •Mubarak Bala

Jane Okafor, Abuja

The humanists in Nigeria and abroad on Wednesday called on the Inspector General of Police and Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El - Rufai, to free the detained Mubarak Bala who was arrested on Tuesday by two police officers for alleged blasphemy.

The humanists organisations in Nigeria and abroad said local sources suggested that Bala's arrest could be in connection with a charge of blasphemy for his activities on social media sites.

The founder of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, Leo Igwe, who urged all lovers of freedom to rally support towards freeing Bala, expressed the worry that the activist could face death penalty if tried and found guilty of blasphemy.

He urged the Inspector General of Police and Governor El - Rufai to set the activist free.

Leo said: "There is international concern that if the charge is confirmed and he is found guilty, Mubarak could face death penalty.

"Mubarak Bala is well-known within the global humanist community after he was detained in a psychiatric ward on the grounds that he was an atheist. With the the support of Humanists International, Mubarak was freed  on 3 July 2014.

“All of us at the Humanist Association of Nigeria are deeply worried by the arrest and detention of our president, Mubarak Bala.

"Mubarak will likely be handed over to the Kano state police command, that will prosecute him for blasphemy, a crime that carries a death sentence under Sharia law. We urge the Inspector General of Police, the governor of Kaduna, Mallam Elrufai to ensure his immediate release.”

Also, Gary McLelland, CEO of Humanists International said: “News of Mubarak’s arrest is of serious concern to the international humanist community. Mubarak is a well known and hugely respected activist.

“We are working with our Members, Associates and Supporters to coordinate a global response to have Mubarak freed.”

Mubarak Bala is the President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria. In 2014 Humanists International rescued him from a psychiatric ward where he was detained on the grounds that he was an atheist. Today Mubarak is detained again, reportedly on a charge of “blasphemy.”

There is an allegation that he made comments that were deemed disrespectful of Prophet Muhammad in a Facebook post.


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