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Falana petitions African Commission to stop Sharif death sentence

Sharif was sentenced to death by a Sharia court for blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad

A human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has petitioned the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Banjul, The Gambia over the death sentence on Kano singer Sharif Yahya Sharif.

Falana is asking the Commission to exercise its mandates and authority under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and pursuant to the commission’s order 100(1) of the commission’s Rules of Procedure, 2020.

Falana in the petition dated 8 September, 2020, states:

“I am writing to you on behalf of Sharif Yahya Sharif to ask the Commission to consider this request for provisional measures.

“The request is submitted in conjunction with our communication on behalf of Sharif Yahya Sharif convicted and sentenced to death for blasphemy in Kano State of Nigeria.”

Falana is asking Nigeria to faithfully and fully implement resolutions on moratorium on executions adopted by both the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly.

He wants the petitioner to be removed immediately from imminent execution or any risk of execution, and fully accord the petitioner his fair trial and other human rights, pending this Commission’s decision.

According to Falana, unless the African Commission urgently intervenes in this case, there is a risk of irreversible denial of the petitioner’s rights, which in turn will render nugatory these resolutions on moratorium of death sentence.