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Blasphemy: UNICEF condemns sentencing of 13-year-old to 10 years imprisonment in Kano

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said the sentencing of a 13-year-old boy identified as Omar Farouq to 10 years’ imprisonment over alleged blasphemy by a Sharia Court in Kano, is “unacceptable”.

UNICEF in a statement issued by its Nigerian Representative, Peter Hawkins, on Wednesday said the “action of the court was wrong”.

Okay.ng understands the Kano State Sharia Court at Feli Hockey convicted Farouq of blasphemy on August 10, 2020.

The statement read partly, “Nigerian Government and the Kano State Government to urgently review the case with a view to reversing the sentence.

“UNICEF has expressed deep concern over the sentencing of a 13-year-old Omar Farouq to 10 years’ imprisonment with menial labour by the Kano State Sharia Court at Feli Hockey.”

“The sentencing of this child to 10 years in prison with menial labour is wrong. It also negates all cores 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,” the statement further reads.

UNICEF, however, called on the Kano State government to reverse the ruling of the Sharia Court.

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