United Nation human rights experts, Karima Bennoune, has called on Nigerian authorities to immediately release a 22-year-old singer sentenced to death over an allegedly blasphemous song shared on social media.
Yahaya Sharif-Aminu was given a death sentence on 10 August by a Sharia court in Kano state over a song judged blasphemous that he performed and shared in a WhatsApp group.
The UN experts called for the death sentence to be overturned and for authorities to guarantee his safety and due process rights while he is appealing his conviction.
The human rights experts say they are concerned over the lack of due process in Sharif-Aminu’s case so far, especially reports that he has been held incommunicado and that he did not have access to a lawyer during his initial trial, a trial that was not open to the public
Again the human right expert mentioned that Artistic expression of opinion and beliefs, through songs or other media including those seen to offend religious sensibilities is protected in accordance with international law.
Nigeria must take effective measures to protect Sharif-Aminu, in detention as well as after his release.