An atheist in Nigeria has been sentenced to 24 years in prison after pleading guilty to blasphemy.
Mubarak Bala, head of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, was arrested in 2020 after he posted critical comments about Islam on Facebook. Bala lives in Kaduna State but was moved to neighboring Kano State, which is heavily Muslim and operates on a harsh interpretation of Islamic law.
It’s unclear why Bala agreed to plead guilty, but the Humanist Association said Bala might have been led to believe doing so would reduce his sentence.
James Ibor, Bala’s lawyer, called the sentence, which was handed down April 5 by the Kano High Court, “very outrageous” and vowed to appeal.