Man sentenced to death for 'posting blasphemous song in WhatsApp group'

A 22-year-old musician was sentenced to death after being convicted of sharing an offensive song about the Prophet Muhammad in a WhatsApp chat.

Yahaya Sharif-Aminu is hanged in Kano, Nigeria, after being sentenced.

Outrage grew after the recording became widespread earlier this year. An angry crowd destroyed his family home and forced his father to flee.

Sharif-Amin’s conviction has been described as a “travesty of justice” amid demands to spare one’s life.

Lawyers for the Music Studio Assistant said CNN The comment was made during a line in a WhatsApp group.

Legal documents state that he was found guilty of “making a blasphemous statement against the Prophet Mohammed on a WhatsApp group” – an offense punishable by death under Kano State’s Sharia Criminal Code.

Sharif-Aminu admitted the charges during his trial – during which he reportedly did not have a lawyer – but later said he made a mistake.

He was arrested in March by the Hezbah Corps – religious police who enforce Sharia law in the state.

Amnesty International’s Nigerian director, Osai Ojigho, said: “There are serious concerns about the fairness of his trial and the way the charges against him were drawn up based on his WhatsApp messages.

Man sentenced to death for 'posting blasphemous song in WhatsApp group' 1

“Furthermore, imposing the death penalty after an unfair trial violates the right to life.”

ONE Petition asking the authorities to overturn the sentence was signed by more than 80,000 people.

However, the state’s governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has announced that he will sign the musician’s death sentence once the appeal process is completed.

He told a meeting the Daily Post reports: “I assure you that the Supreme Court upheld the judgment immediately and that I will sign it without hesitation.”

In one statementUN human rights experts said: “We are deeply concerned about the serious lack of due process in Mr Sharif-Amin’s case, particularly reports that he was detained without contact with the outside world and had no access to a lawyer during his first trial , a process that was not open to the public. “

They added: “The artistic expression of opinions and beliefs through songs or other media – including those that violate religious sensibilities – is protected under international law.

“The criminalization of these terms is illegal. Music is not a crime.”


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