After more than a year of being held without charges, Nigerian atheist Mubarak Bala has been sentenced to 24 years in prison. His supposed “crime” was expressing his atheism on Facebook.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has contacted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria to urge it to take immediate action toward securing Bala’s release from this unjust imprisonment. Please take a moment to join FFRF in putting pressure on the United States to correct this egregious miscarriage of justice.
In theory, Nigeria’s Constitution guarantees freedom of expression and religious freedom. However, certain states in Nigeria have parallel religious courts that criminalize things like blasphemy. Where Bala has been sentenced, in Kano state, blasphemy is potentially punishable by death.
However, Bala was not even in Kano state when he posted the allegedly blasphemous messages on Facebook. He was arrested in his home, taken away from his spouse and six-week-old child, and then transferred to Kano State, where authorities then ignored federal instructions to release him from custody.
Blasphemy is a victimless crime, and this archaic and barbaric prohibition against offending religious sensibilities has no place in a modern, free society. Please take a moment to use our automated system to contact the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria and urge it to help free Bala. You can use our suggested talking points, or write your own. For best effect, be polite and concise.
If you have not previously signed up for action alerts using FFRF’s new system, which debuted Feb. 3, 2022, there is a one-time requirement to fill in your name, email and address. Then our system will remember you and connect you to the correct governmental offices. (If you move addresses, please update this information accordingly.)