By Humanists International and Atheists United
(Sat., May 2, 2020) London. — Atheists, faith leaders, and other grassroots activists have organized an international Week of Protest to help bring attention to the ongoing plight of Mubarak Bala, the President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria.
On April 28, Mubarak Bala was arrested in his home in Nigeria following allegations that he insulted the Prophet Muhammad on social media. His legal team has been unable to access Bala and are asking authorities to clarify where he is being held.
“News of Mubarak’s arrest is of serious concern to the international humanist community. Mubarak is a well known and hugely respected activist,” said Andrew Copson, President of Humanists International, the organization coordinating Bala’s legal defence. “We urgently call upon the Nigerian authorities to clarify Mubarak’s current status, and to have him safely released as soon as possible.”
The Week of Protest will begin on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, one week after Mubarak’s arrest. Organizers are calling on the international community to take a photo of themselves with the #FreeMubarakBala hashtag and their geographic location and donate to the legal fund supporting Mubarak’s efforts. Those interested can join the Week of Protest Facebook event and learn more about the campaign at www.freemubarakbala.org.
“Freedom of expression, including the freedom to question and criticize, are essential human rights,” said Yvonne Nyahe, Ghana Director of Foundation Beyond Belief, an international humanist relief charity. “We are deeply concerned about the safety of our colleague and fellow humanist, Mubarak Bala, who was arrested for exercising this freedom. We call for his immediate release, and ask the international community to join us in affirming the right to express humanist beliefs.”
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Humanists International is the global representative body of the humanist movement, uniting a diversity of non-religious organisations and individuals. It represents the humanist voice through delegations to the United Nations in Geneva, Vienna, and New York; the Organisation of American States; the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights; the Council of Europe; UNESCO; the European Commission and Parliament and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Atheists United is a nonprofit that serves atheist communities in and around greater Los Angeles. AU’s mission is to build thriving atheist communities, empower people to express their secular values, and promote separation of government and religion.
#FreeMubarakBala | www.freemubarakbala.org
Humanists International | www.humanists.international
Contact: Gary McLelland, CEO
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Atheists United | www.atheistsunited.org
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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.