A Shariah court in Kano state has reportedly sentenced 13-year-old Umar Farouq to 10 years in prison for blasphemy, leading to public outrage.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has now reacted to the judgement condemning it.
Peter Hawkins, UNICEF representative in Nigeria insisted that the judgement contradicts the United Nations convention on the rights of the child which Nigeria ratified in 1991. He also called on the Kano state government to urgently reverse the sentencing.
The statement read;
“The sentencing of this child –13-year-old Omar Farouk to 10 years in prison with menial labour 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.”