Musician Accused Of Blasphemy Chained In Underground Cell At Kano Prison, Denied Access To Lawyer

 Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, the musician sentenced to death for blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad by a Shari’a court, has been held incommunicado and being chained in an underground cell at the Kano Prison, SaharaReporters has gathered.

Sharif-Aminu, aged 22, was on Monday sentenced to death for committing blasphemy against the Prophet of Islam in a song he circulated via WhatsApp.

He was accused of committing the offence in March 2020 after which protesters burnt down his family house.

He has 30 days to appeal the judgment.

“They are keeping him in the worst possible condition. They have denied him visitors including his immediate family. He has been kept in a solitary confinement cell known as Back Cell at the Kano Central Prison. The cells are dark and underground.

“They boy may get infected where they are keeping him or exposed to cold. They have put a leg chain on him since he got in and he sleeps with the leg chain,” a prison official told SaharaReporters.

Several Nigerians have condemned the judgment of the Upper Sharia Court in Kano.

The Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project asked the Nigerian Government to immediately quash the death sentence, saying it “amounts to violation of the right to freedom of expression”.

Reacting to the issue, rights lawyer, Tope Akinyode, described the death sentence as “preposterous” and “antithetical to democratic tenets”.

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