Omar Farouq: Teenager jailed 10 years for blasphemy in Nigeria speaks out


Insults have been exchanged within the warmth of the second, he admits, however Farouq, a youngster, thought nothing of the trade till he was summoned to the police station and charged with blasphemy towards God.

When phrase bought out in regards to the nature of his arrest, an indignant mob descended on Farouq’s household dwelling forcing his mom to flee to a neighboring village, his lawyer stated.

Farouq, who was then 16, was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in jail with exhausting labor by a Sharia courtroom, in Kano, northern Nigeria.

“I am delighted, I am in a joyous temper. And I am grateful to all those that helped and lent assist for this consequence with the grace of Allah,” Farouq, now 17, instructed CNN in his first interview following his launch.

Alapinni was instrumental in Farouq’s launch from jail.

His Basis for Spiritual Freedom found and bought concerned in Farouq’s case whereas engaged on an attraction for Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, who was sentenced to dying for blasphemy on the Kano Higher Sharia Court docket.

“We came upon they have been convicted on the identical day, by the identical decide, in the identical courtroom, for blasphemy and we came upon nobody was speaking about Omar, so we needed to transfer rapidly to file an attraction for him,” he stated.

“Blasphemy shouldn’t be acknowledged by Nigerian legislation. It’s inconsistent with the structure of Nigeria.”

Kano’s Excessive Court docket acknowledged that Farouq’s conviction as a minor “was achieved in error and … is hereby put aside and the Defendant is hereby discharged and acquitted.”

An ‘unjust’ punishment

Farouq says he feels aggrieved as that the Sharia courtroom was “unjust” to him.

Officers for the Sharia courtroom haven’t commented on Farouq’s case, and efforts to achieve them have been unsuccessful. CNN additionally contacted Kano state authorities for remark however has but to obtain a response.

In all, Farouq spent greater than 5 months locked up with out entry to household or attorneys.

His household stated they weren’t knowledgeable in regards to the particulars of his case and didn’t even know what date his courtroom listening to was held.

“They weren’t truthful to us,” his uncle Umar Aliyu instructed CNN. “After they took this boy to courtroom, they did not inform us the courtroom they took him to… and so they refused to inform us the date slated for the judgment. They stored chasing us away. I went to the Hisbah workplace pleading with the interrogator, however he instructed me to depart his workplace. I left harm and near tears, extraordinarily unhappy.”

The household additionally came upon from media reviews that Farouq had been convicted and sentenced, Aliyu stated.

Aliyu remembers being “enveloped with unhappiness,” each time he thought of his nephew locked up with no contact together with his household.

“Everybody… was disturbed very a lot, we have been actually unhappy. We simply needed to console one another, counseling some to take it as one thing ordained by Allah… telling them to be affected person. This supplied some emotional aid.

“For the interval he was in jail each time I thought of him, I grew to become nervous. Each time I thought of him unhappiness would envelop me.”

‘His life is in peril’

Now that Farouq has been freed, he says he’s decided to complete his schooling and has ambitions to enter politics to struggle towards the type of injustice he confronted.

“I pray Allah will bless me to change into governor or President to reform the Sharia and to finish the injustice on my fellow residents and myself since in some courtroom circumstances the offense does not warrant the cruel judgment handed down. That is deprivation of your proper, oppression, and abuse,” he stated.

Though his conviction was overturned, Farouq’s life stays in peril from some fanatics who see his launch as an affront, in keeping with his lawyer.

Alapinni instructed CNN how terrified Farouq was when he turned as much as meet him exterior the jail when he was launched.

“He himself is aware of he’s in peril as a result of after we tried to choose him from jail…you may see the concern in his face, he did not even wish to comply with us…everyone had instructed him that if he steps out of the jail partitions he can be killed,” Alapinni stated.

“We now want to rearrange secure passage for him. His life is in peril in Kano — it should by no means be the identical,” he stated.

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