Nigeria singer sentenced to death in north for blasphemy

U.S. & World

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — A young musician in northern Nigeria’s Kano state has been sentenced to death by hanging for blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad.

An Upper Shariah Court found Yahaya Sharif, 22, guilty for circulating a song described as insulting Prophet Muhammad on WhatsApp in March. He has 30 days to appeal the judgment.

Lawan Muhammad of Kano state’s religious police, Hisbah, told The Associated Press Tuesday he is satisfied with the judgment.

“It was the kind of judgment we hoped for when we arrested him,” Muhammad said.

Angry protesters burned down the singer’s family house after he circulated the song.

Kano is one of about 12 states in Northern Nigeria where Shariah law is in place.

Many people have been condemned to death under Shariah law since it was first introduced in Kano in 1999, but so far only one execution has been carried out. That was in 2002 when a man was put to death after being convicted of killing a woman and her two children. Many people convicted of theft have had their limbs amputated under the law.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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