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Blasphemy: UNICEF condemns imprisonment of minor in Kano

The United Nations Children’s Fund, on Wednesday called for the review of 10-year jail term against 13-year-old Omar Farouq by the Kano State Sharia Court with a view to reversing the sentence.

Recall that the sentence was handed down after Farouq was convicted of blasphemy on August 10, 2020.

UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, in a statement on Wednesday, said Farouq imprisonment negated the principles of child rights and justice.

“The sentencing of this child of 13-year-old Omar Farouk to 10 years imprisonment is wrong. It also negates all core 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.

“UNICEF called on the Nigerian Government and the Kano State Government to urgently review the case with a view to reversing the sentence.”

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