Nigeria must abolish blasphemy crimes, MEPs say

Nigeria must abolish blasphemy crimes, MEPs say

On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the respect for human rights in Nigeria.

MEPs urge the Nigerian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release and drop all charges against imprisoned singer Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, as well as all others facing blasphemy allegations. In 2020, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu was sentenced to death by a Sharia Court in Kano State in the north of the country over a song he composed and shared on social media, containing allegedly derogatory comments regarding the Prophet Muhammad.

The resolution states that blasphemy laws are in clear breach of both international human rights obligations and in contradiction with the Nigerian Constitution. Therefore, Parliament urges the Nigerian authorities to uphold human rights throughout the country by ensuring that federal and state law and Sharia do not deny Nigerians protection under the national constitution and international conventions, as well as to repeal blasphemy laws at both federal and state level.

MEPs also urge the government of Nigeria to combat impunity surrounding blasphemy accusations, and to withdraw the use of capital punishment for such supposed crimes, while moving towards full abolition. They finally call on the EU and its member states, as key development partners, to raise individual cases, human rights concerns and blasphemy laws with the Nigerian side.

The resolution was adopted by 550 votes in favour, 7 against and 4 abstentions.

For more details, full text will be available here.


On Top