To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what what discussions she has had with the Nigerian government on the imprisonment of Mubarak Bala for blasphemy; and if she will make a statement.
20 May 2022
I [Minister Ford] raised concerns about Mr Bala's case, and the severity of his sentence, with Nigeria's Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, earlier this month. The British High Commissioner has also engaged with the Kano State Government and the Nigerian President's Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, to express our concerns. She has made clear the importance of protecting religious minorities, and promoting human rights for all. Officials at the British High Commission have also raised Mr Bala's case with the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission.
We will continue to follow developments in Mr Bala's case closely, and will continue to stress the importance of Mr Bala being treated in full accordance with his human rights, the rule of law, and the Nigerian constitutional right to freedom of religion or belief.