Nigerian Singer sentenced to death over Blasphemy
A musician in Nigeria’s northern state of Kano has been sentenced to death by hanging for blaspheming against the Prophet Muhammad.
Yahaya Sharif-Aminu faces being hanged after his conviction in Kano, Nigeria by an upper Sharia court.
Outrage grew after the recording was widely shared earlier this year, with an angry crowd destroying his family home and forcing his father to flee.
Legal documents say he was found guilty of making “a blasphemous statement against Prophet Mohammed in a WhatsApp Group” an offence punishable by death according to the Kano State Sharia Penal Code.
Following his sentencing, UN rights experts have asked Nigeria to release the 22-year-old singer saying the sentence broke international law.
“Music is not a crime, Application of the death penalty for artistic expression or for sharing a song on the internet is a flagrant violation of international human rights law, as well as of Nigeria’s constitution,” said Karima Bennoune, special rapporteur on cultural rights. The rights experts said Nigeria should overturn the death sentence and guarantee the singer’s safety while he launched an appeal. Protesters enraged by the song burned down Sharif’s family home on March 4.” read a joint statement from the group of UN rapporteurs.