Nigerian courtroom hears blasphemy conviction appeals in northern metropolis Kano

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© Reuters. Professor of Islamic Research, Taiwo Salisu, shows the content material of a guide throughout an interview with Reuters in Lagos

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By Hamza Ibrahim

KANO, Nigeria (Reuters) – Two judges in northern Nigeria on Thursday heard the primary appeals towards Islamic legislation blasphemy convictions that prompted international outrage when a person was sentenced to dying over a WhatsApp message and a 13-year-old obtained a 10-year jail time period.

The judges, on the appeals part of the secular excessive courtroom within the metropolis of Kano, mentioned verdicts could be delivered at a later date.

In August, a Kano sharia courtroom sentenced Yahaya Aminu Sharif to dying for allegedly sharing a blasphemous message on WhatsApp and Omar Farouq, accused of creating blasphemous feedback in an argument, obtained a jail sentence.

The convictions have been condemned by rights teams, the United Nations and the top of Poland’s Auschwitz Memorial who mentioned he and others would volunteer to every serve a month of the boy’s jail sentence. In addition they sparked a debate about sharia’s compatibility with Nigeria’s secular structure.

Nigeria is roughly evenly cut up between a predominantly Muslim north and primarily Christian south. Sharia, or Islamic non secular legislation is utilized in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states the place sharia courts function alongside secular ones.

The costs prompted anger in Kano, the north’s business hub, and protesters burned down Sharif’s household dwelling in March.

Kola Alapinni, a defence lawyer representing the 2 defendants, mentioned the convictions have been incompatible with Nigeria’s structure, which provides individuals the fitting to have freedom of expression.

“The place any legislation conflicts with the structure that legislation should bow to the structure,” he advised Reuters outdoors the courtroom.

Either side can take their case to the federal courtroom of enchantment if they’re sad with the state enchantment courtroom’s ruling.

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