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Amnesty Urgent Actions
Startseite Urgent Actions 2020 09 Nigerian singer at risk of imminent execution Retrial ordered for singer on death row
FI 137/20-1
Nigeria
Abgeschlossen am 26. März 2021
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29.01.2021: Suggested tweet

Suggested tweet:

17 February is also Yahaya’s birthday. Join in celebrating Yahaya’s birthday and calling the Governor of Kano State (@GovUmarGanduje) to grant his release.

@GovUmarGanduje Yahaya Sharif-Aminu will spend his 23rd birthday in detention when he should be celebrating at home, with his family. #FreeYahayaSharifAminu NOW

Thank you in advance for your continued action and support!

Retrial ordered for singer on death row

AI-Index: AFR 44/3568/2021

On 21 January, an Appeal Panel ordered the case of 22-year old Yahaya Sharif-Aminu be retried by a different judge on the basis that he was not represented by a legal representative throughout his trial. The singer was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging for blasphemy in August 2020, accused of circulating a song on Whatsapp that allegedly contained derogatory comments against Prophet Muhammad SWAT. The charges against Yahaya Sharif-Aminu must be dropped and he must be released immediately and unconditionally.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The death sentence handed down to Yahaya Sharif-Aminu by the Upper Sharia Court in Kano state, Nigeria was widely criticized across Nigeria and also by Amnesty International after a huge outcry by several individuals and religious bodies urging the Governor of Kano state not to sign his execution warrant.There were serious concerns about the fairness of Yahaya Sharif-Aminu’s trial and the framing of the charges against him. Before and during the trail, he was not permitted legal representation. He was granted access to legal advice to prepare an appeal after human rights lawyers and activists pressured the court to respect his right to legal representation. In Kano state under the Sharia law, blasphemy is a criminal offence with a death penalty.

The death penalty remains a legal sanction in Nigeria and continues to be imposed throughout the country. In 2019, over 54 death sentences were recorded. In total, over 2, 700 people were under death sentence by the end of the year. In Nigeria, the 2004 National Study Group on Death Penalty and the 2007 Presidential Commission on the Administration of Justice both stressed that the Nigerian criminal justice system cannot guarantee a fair trial and called for a moratorium on the death penalty.

In 2008, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) adopted its second resolution on the death penalty, calling on States Parties to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights – such as Nigeria – to «observe a moratorium on the execution of death sentences with a view to abolishing the death penalty» and to ratify the ICCPR-OP2. In a study published on 19 April 2012, the Working Group on the Death Penalty of the African Commission reaffirmed the necessity of the abolition of capital punishment and suggested ways for its achievement.

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