On the 28th of April 2020, the news of Mubarak Bala’s arrest on allegations of insulting the Prophet Muhammad sent shockwaves to the global humanist community.

Nigerian human rights activist and President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, Mubarak Bala is currently serving a 24-year prison sentence after an eighteen-count charge of blasphemy and public incitement.

Humanists International, after reports that Bala has been denied necessary medical care, in contravention of the UN Standard Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (also known as the ‘Mandela Rules’), has taken actions to improved Bala’s safety. They’ve secured a maintenance grant that enables him to have access to medications and food, as well as supporting his wife’s visits to see him.

We’re now working to ensure a trusted case liaison can travel to the prison to visit him once per month, to discuss his case with him and act as a bridge between Bala and his lawyers. We hope to send Leo Igwe, who is a board member of Humanists International and was a speaker at the New Zealand Humanist Conference in Auckland in 2018. Igwe is colleague of Mubarak’s and has been spearheading the campaign for Mubarak’s release since his arrest.