A 13-year-old boy, Omar Farouk, has been sentenced to prison for 10-years by a Sharia court in Nigeria's Kano State.
His crime? He was accused of using foul language toward Allah in an argument with a friend, reports CNN. The minor's lawyer found out about Farouk's case by chance when working on the case of Sharif-Aminu, who received the death penalty for blasphemy at the same court.
"We found out they were convicted on the same day, by the same judge, in the same court, for blasphemy and we found out no one was talking about Omar, so we had to move quickly to file an appeal for him," Farouk’s lawyer, Kola Alapinni, told CNN.
"Blasphemy is not recognised by Nigerian law. It is inconsistent with the constitution of Nigeria."
9News reports that the United Nations child rights agency UNICEF issued a statement yesterday "expressing deep concern" about the sentencing.
"The sentencing of this child, 13-year-old Omar Farouk, to 10 years in prison with menial labour is wrong," UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, said.
"This case further underlines the urgent need to accelerate the enactment of the Kano State Child Protection Bill so as to ensure that all children under 18, including Omar Farouk, are protected and that all children in Kano are treated in accordance with child rights standards."
According to the BBC, the Sharia system, which also has its own Court of Appeal, handles both civil and criminal matters involving Muslims, and its judgements can also be challenged in Nigeria's secular Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
Only Muslims can be tried in Sharia courts.
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Image credits: Naija News and Daily Post Nigeria