By Leo Igwe
While the police authorities in Kano have confirmed that Nigerian Humanist Mubarak Bala is in their custody, they have not granted him access to a lawyer. He has been held incommunicado. The police arrested Mubarak in Kaduna three days ago following a complaint of insulting prophet Muhammad that some lawyers in Kano filed at the State Police Command.
Mubarak was detained in Kaduna for a night before being transferred to Kano two days ago. Since taken to Kano, the police authorities have not allowed him to see his lawyer. The police authorities have been blocking efforts to understand the details of the complaint. This is in breach of Mubarak’s human rights.
There are reports that Mubarak is being beaten and tortured while in detention. There are also concerns over the state of his health, especially with the outbreak of a strange disease and the coronavirus in Kano. In the last 48 hours, there has been no independent confirmation that Mubarak is alive and well, there is no confirmation that he is not being maltreated and that his rights are not being violated. Given the nature of the allegation, there are serious concerns over Mubarak’s health. According to family sources, Mubarak is hypertensive. Many people are worried that Mubarak could be killed while in detention given the several death threats that he has received.
Please kindly help draw the attention of the Nigerian authorities to the case of Mubarak. Ask the police authorities to grant Mubarak access to his lawyer today.
Urge the police to charge him in court formally or release him unconditionally.
Image Credit: Leo Igwe.