The Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, has condemned the sentencing of TikTok stars, Mubarak Muhammad (Uniquepikin) and Nazifi Muhammad, to flogging and a fine for allegedly defaming Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that a Magistrate Court in Kano had sentenced two Tiktokers to 20 strokes of cane, and 30 days of community service.
Reacting, the Director of the international rights watchdog in Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, in a statement on Tuesday, sought quashing of the judgement.
According to the statement, the decision to remand the suspects in prison for a week without trial is a brazen violation of their fair trial rights.
The statement said: “Amnesty International condemns the sentencing of TikTokers Mubarak Muhammad (Uniquepikin) and Nazifi Muhammad for allegedly defaming the governor of Kano state in northern Nigeria.
“The decision to remand them in prison for a week without trial is a brazen violation of their fair trial rights. Satirizing those in authority is not a crime. Nigerian authorities must immediately quash this appalling sentence.
“Authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Mubarak Muhammad and Nazifi Muhammad as they are sentenced solely for peacefully exercising their human rights.”
“Nigerian authorities must respect, protect, promote, and fulfil the right of everyone to freedom of expression.
“The outrageous court order to flog and fine them is heavy-handed and clearly aimed at gagging young Nigerians and restricting their access to social media.
“These outrageous sentences are just the latest to be meted out by Nigeria’s cruel justice system and expose the authorities’ complete disregard for freedom of expression.
“Nigerian authorities must quash these cruel sentences and immediately and unconditionally release Mubarak Muhammad and Nazifi Muhammad.”
“Authorities must ensure that Mubarak Muhammad and Nazifi Muhammad are protected from torture and other ill-treatment.”
“Increasingly, Nigerians who use social media to comment on social and political issues face intimidation. Some have come under attacks and threats of arrest.
“Using repressive tactics to control what Nigerians do on social media is an unacceptable violation of human rights. This must stop.”