‘It is wrong’ – UN frowns at implementation of Sharia in Nigeria

The UN children’s agency Unicef has strongly condemned the imprisonment of a 13-year-old boy convicted for blasphemy by a Sharia court in Kano.

In August, a Sharia Court had sentenced Omar Farouq to 10-years- imprisonment with menial labour.

Commenting on the sentencing, Peter Hawkins, Unicef representative in Nigeria said it “is wrong… it also negates all core underlying principles of child rights and child justice that Nigeria – and by implication, Kano State – has signed on to.”

The sentence is in contravention of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Nigeria ratified in 1991, Unicef said in a statement.

Unicef called on the Nigerian federal and state authorities to urgently review the case with a view to reversing the sentence.

Several states in northern Nigeria introduced Sharia after the country returned to civilian rule in 1999.

The implementation of the Islamic law has however raised concerns over rights abuses.

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