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UA 137/20
Abgeschlossen am 11. Dezember 2020
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05.11.2020: Update

As you might know, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu and his lawyers are appealing the Upper Sharia Court’s decision to sentence Yahaya to death by hanging for circulating a song via Whatsapp considered blasphemous . A date for the appeal hearing, before a Kano State High Court, has been set to 26 November 2020.

So please continue to call on the Governor of Kano State to not sign Yahaya Sharif- Aminu’s execution warrant and to grant his immediate and unconditional release.

Thank you for your ongoing support and action!

08:10.2020: Update and deadline extended

We are extending the appeal deadline of Yahaya Sharif-Aminu’s death sentence.

This coming Saturday, 10 October, is World Day Against the Death Penalty and a boost in international appeals will serve to keep the attention on the case and to pressure the authorities to respond to our appeals.

So please continue to call on the Governor of Kano State to not sign Yahaya Sharif- Aminu’s execution warrant and to grant his immediate and unconditional release.

We suggest the following tweets:

Twitter Handle @GovUmarGanduje

Thanks for your continued support!

Nigerian singer at risk of imminent execution

AI-Index: AFR 44/2968/2020

Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, a 22-year old singer detained in Kano prison, Kano State, in northern Nigeria, is at risk of imminent execution after an Upper Shari’a Court sentenced him to death by hanging for circulating a song via WhatsApp considered blasphemous. Influential individuals and religious leaders are mounting pressure on the authorities to carry out the judgement as soon as possible. Yahaya Sharif-Aminu is now appealing the sentence. He must be immediately and unconditionally released.


On 27 August, Kano State government published on its official website a statement that the governor would not hesitate to sign the warrant for Yahaya Sharif-Aminu’s execution.

There are 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. Sharia law, which is practiced in many states in northern Nigeria, provides for the death penalty for blasphemy. The Hisbah, a Kano State-owned security outfit is the body that enforces the Shariah law in the highly conservative state.

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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