Amnesty International has condemned the death sentence handed down to a 22-year-old musician, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, by a Sharia court in Kano State for blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad.
Amnesty argued that the death penalty was a violation of the right to freedom of thought and expression of the citizen.
It asked the Kano State Government to immediately quash the conviction and death sentence of Sharif-Aminu.
“This is a travesty of justice. There are serious concerns about the fairness of his trial; and the framing of the charges against him based on his music. Furthermore, the imposition of the death penalty following an unfair trial violates the right to life. Yahaya Sharif-Aminu must be released immediately and unconditionally.
“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 crimes like intentional killing, according to international law,” said Osai Ojigho, Amnesty International Nigeria Country Director.