Free Mubarak Bala: Here's What We Know Now
TL;DR Bullet points:
Mubarak Bala, president of Nigerian Humanists, was arrested on April 28th in Kaduna, Nigeria
He was allegedly moved to Sharia territory, we cannot currently confirm his location.
We have not heard from him or had confirmation of his physical condition in fifteen days
We fear he is already dead
Reports have surfaced that he may be subject to torture
We have raised over $20,000 to pay for his lawyers
Lawyers have been retained
Mubarak’s lawyers are being refused access to Mubarak
Mubarak’s wife has gone to Kano state to support her husband, leaving her small children behind with family
Amnesty International has launched a campaign for Mubarak
The USCIRF has condemned Mubarak’s arrest and demanded action from the Nigerian authorities
We don’t need money anymore, but there is still a lot you can do. Instructions are at the end of this post.
As you know, Mubarak Bala, president of Nigerian Humanists, was arrested in Kaduna for a Facebook post that, it is claimed, insulted the prophet Muhammad. You can read the initial announcement here. He was arrested on April 28th. It has been 15 days since we’ve heard a word from Mubarak. A few days after his arrest, he was moved from Kaduna to Kano state, an area of Nigeria ruled by Sharia law. We fear Mubarak may already be gone. We have no confirmation of his physical condition and as his friends, we are frozen in a state of helpless desperation. It’s been fifteen days since we have heard from him. Nigerian authorities continue to refuse access to his lawyers in the face of mounting international pressure. With your help, the International Association of Atheists raised $8000 USD to pay for his lawyers. Added to what Humanists International raised, the total is now well over $20,000. The lawyers have been retained and they are ready to fight for Mubarak but they are being denied access to him at every turn. It is now very widely known that the Nigerian authorities, in particular, the Nigerian Police Force are in direct contravention of Mubarak’s human rights as well as their own laws, rules and regulations, seemingly with the tacit approval of Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria who has remained equally silent. Thankfully, we have managed to engage the US government in the discourse as well as questions by the British ambassador to Nigeria, although we do not know what information they may have gathered yet. Leo Igwe, well known human rights activist has been working closely with us on this matter and was able to tell us this:
“At the moment we are working with the embassies to bring pressure to bear on the Nigerian authorities because the local pressures have not yielded any significant result. EU, UK and the US embassies have been in touch. Mubarak is still held incommunicado in Kano He is not given access to a lawyer or charged in a court. Our lawyers are working to bring some court action. A petition is with the police to transfer his case. Right now we keen at giving the case more publicity in the media, especially international media and getting the embassies to intervene”
Further information will be provided once we have it. In the meantime, you can:
Sign the petition to show the Nigerian authorities that the world is watching: click here.
Click here to tweet the Nigerian authorities
Join the week of protest here.
Join the Amnesty campaign to free Mubarak here.
We will keep you updated as news comes in. If you are looking for more information or want to help, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org