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August 19, 2022
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Nigerian humanist jailed for 24 years after pleading guilty to blasphemy

Mubarak Bala’s case seen as part of a clampdown on critics of religious orthodoxy in a deeply conservative region

A prominent Nigerian humanist has been sentenced to 24 years in prison after pleading guilty to blasphemy charges, in a landmark case that has put a new focus on the threats to freedom of expression in the west African country.

Mubarak Bala, the president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, was sentenced on Tuesday afternoon, two years after his arrest at his home in the northern Kaduna state on 28 April 2020. He was then taken to neighbouring Kano, where calls for action against him had been made by members of the religious establishment in the majority Muslim and conservative state.

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