SAN FRANCISCO – May 5, 2020 – PRLog — Black Skeptics Group Los Angeles, Black Nonbelievers, Inc., and Women of Color Beyond Belief unequivocally condemn the detention of Mubarak Bala, President of the Nigerian Humanist Association, and call for his release from police custody in Kano, Nigeria.
On April 28th, Bala was arrested at his home in Northern Nigeria, reputedly for making “blasphemous” comments about Islam, which carry a potential death penalty under Sharia Law. Throughout the African continent, African secularists disproportionately face harassment, discrimination, stigma, and vilification in traditionally religious African communities. According to African American secular organizers Sikivu Hutchinson, Mandisa Thomas, and Bria Crutchfield, “Expressing solidarity with African secularists is crucial for making the marginalized struggles of Black humanists and nonbelievers visible globally”.
Mr Bala is being targeted solely for his exercise of his rights of freedom of belief and freedom of expression, as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution and international and regional instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory.
The aforementioned African American secular organizations call on U.S. officials and global human rights organizations to take immediate action to urge Nigerian authorities to do the following:
· Clarify Mr. Bala’s legal status and his whereabouts, and release him, immediately and unconditionally, if he was not charged within the 24-hour time frame stipulated in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
· Grant Mr. Bala free and unimpeded access to his legal counsel;
· Transfer Mr. Bala to a neutral territory, such as Lagos, where it is more likely that he will receive a fair trial, if any trial against him were to take place;
· Guarantee Mr. Bala’s well-being and safety while he remains in detention, particularly in light of the many death threats he has received, and the increased risks posed to him as a prisoner during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Black Skeptics Group Los Angeles is a 501c3 community-based organization that provides social justice resources, educational initiatives and scholarships for African descent non-believers, humanists and secularists and communities of color.
Black Nonbelievers, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit fellowship headquartered in the Atlanta area that provides an informative, caring, festive and friendly community. The organization connects with other Blacks (and allies) who are living free of religion and might otherwise be shunned by family and friends. Instead of accepting dogma, Black Nonbelievers determines truth and morality through reason and evidence.
Women of Color Beyond Belief promotes visibility, awareness, and education for secular women of colour.
Canadian Atheist Associates: Godless Mom, Nice Mangoes, Sandwalk, Brainstorm Podcast, Left at the Valley, Life, the Universe & Everything Else, The Reality Check, Bad Science Watch, British Columbia Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, Canadian Secular Alliance, Centre for Inquiry Canada, Kelowna Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists Association.
Other National/Local Resources: Association humaniste du Québec, Atheist Freethinkers, Central Ontario Humanist Association, Comox Valley Humanists, Grey Bruce Humanists, Halton-Peel Humanist Community, Hamilton Humanists, Humanist Association of London, Humanist Association of Ottawa, Humanist Association of Toronto, Humanists, Atheists and Agnostics of Manitoba, Ontario Humanist Society, Secular Connextions Seculaire, Secular Humanists in Calgary, Society of Free Thinkers (Kitchener-Waterloo/Cambridge/Guelph), Thunder Bay Humanists, Toronto Oasis, Victoria Secular Humanist Association.
Other International/Outside Canada Resources: Allianz vun Humanisten, Atheisten an Agnostiker, American Atheists, American Humanist Association, Associação Brasileira de Ateus e AgnósticoséééBrazilian Association of Atheists and Agnostics, Atheist Alliance International, Atheist Alliance of America, Atheist Centre, Atheist Foundation of Australia, The Brights Movement, Center for Inquiry (including Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science), Atheist Ireland, Camp Quest, Inc., Council for Secular Humanism, De Vrije Gedachte, European Humanist Federation, Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations, Foundation Beyond Belief, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Humanist Association of Ireland, Humanist International, Humanist Association of Germany, Humanist Association of Ireland, Humanist Society of Scotland, Humanists UK, Humanisterna/Humanists Sweden, Internet Infidels, International League of Non-Religious and Atheists, James Randi Educational Foundation, League of Militant Atheists, Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, National Secular Society, Rationalist International, Recovering From Religion, Religion News Service, Secular Coalition for America, Secular Student Alliance, The Clergy Project, The Rational Response Squad, The Satanic Temple, The Sunday Assembly, United Coalition of Reason, Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics.
Image Credit: Mubarak Bala, Black Skeptics Group Los Angeles, Black Nonbelievers, Inc, and Women of Color Beyond Belief.