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Nigeria: Authorities must quash the conviction and death sentence imposed on Kano-based singer

13 August 2020

The authorities of Kano State of Nigeria must immediately quash the conviction and death sentence of Yahaya Sharif Aminu, who was sentenced to death by hanging on spurious charges of blasphemy by the Kano Upper Shari’a Court, Amnesty International said today. 

Yahaya Sharif Aminu, a 22-year old musician, had been charged with blasphemy against the prophet of Islam through series of audio messages circulated via WhatsApp in March 2020. 

Yahaya Sharif was arrested in March after protesters burnt down his family home and led a procession to the Kano Hisbah command’s headquarters demanding for his arrest and prosecution.  

Sharia law, which is practiced in many states in northern Nigeria provides for the death penalty for blasphemy. However, this violates Nigeria’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which restricts the use of the death penalty to the “most serious crimes”; which according to international law are crimes that involve intentional killing. 

This is a press notice from Amnesty International.

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