Humanists International

Urgent Appeal to Free Mubarak Bala

We urgently need your help to free Mubarak Bala; a Nigerian humanist who was recently sentenced to 24 years in prison by the Nigerian authorities after sharing his non-religious beliefs on social media.
raised of £35,000 target
by 314 supporters
RCN SC050629


Latest Updates

To read the latest developments on Mubarak's case, please visit:


Mubarak Bala, President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, was arrested by the Nigerian police in April 2020 in connection with a series of Facebook posts that some deemed to be 'blasphemous' and 'likely to cause a public disturbance'.

Almost two years later on, following intensive campaigning and a long legal battle, we received the shocking news that Bala had been sentenced to 24 years in prison.

The Humanist community in Nigeria is utterly shocked by the sentencing of Mubarak Bala for blasphemy. It is disgraceful that a court in this 21st century could convict an individual for making innocuous posts on Facebook. The sentencing of Mubarak Bala is a stark violation of the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief. We urge the authorities in Nigeria to ensure that this judicial charade does not stand.

Mubarak's case so far

On 28 April 2020, Mubarak was arrested at his home in Kaduna State, northern Nigeria. He was then held without charge for 462 days, in contravention of a Federal High Court ruling. For more than five months Mubarak was denied access to his legal representatives. Here is a short film, made one year after his arrest.

According to the charge sheet, Bala faced 18 counts of causing a public disturbance in connection to Facebook posts he is alleged to have made over the course of April 2020, which were deemed to have caused a public disturbance due to their blasphemous content.

When Mubarak was finally seen in court, he plead guilty to the charges against the advice of his legal team. Humanists International has reason to believe that he did so under duress, and with the promise of a more lenient sentence. Mubarak also expressed fears for his life, telling one of his legal representatives that fellow inmates had threatened to kill him if he did not make peace with God.

Unfair and unjust

Mubarak's case has been subject to a series of delays and irregularities that have hindered his right to a fair trial. They include: Being held without charge for 462 days. Waiting 644 days before being presented to court. Being denied access to his legal team for more than five months. Court hearings subjected to repeated adjournments. Being denied bail. Being denied access to medical care.

Andrew Copson, President of Humanists International, commented:

For two years Mubarak's fundamental rights to liberty and a fair trial have been consistently violated. He has been charged and found guilty of offences that amount to no more than expressing a non-religious opinion. We call on the Nigerian authorities to quash this completely unjust and entirely disproportionate conviction, and release our innocent friend and colleague."

How you can help

We know it isn't just the Humanist community who will feel passionately about Mubarak's case; people all around the world will be shocked and appalled by his treatment. You can help Mubarak by donating and by sharing his story.

Humanists International is an international NGO founded in 1952 with a track record of success when it comes to supporting people at risk of religious persecution. With your support, we will continue to campaign for Mubarak's sentence to be overturned, and to ensure his safe release. Thank you.

Good to know

Humanists International 2020, is a Scottish (UK) charity no. SC050629. The money raised by this campaign will be used to help pay for Mubarak's legal team and the associated campaigning costs. In the unlikely event that we raise more money than is required, we will use the remaining funds to protect other people in similar circumstances. Please remember to opt in to hear from us if you would like us to keep you updated on Mubarak's case.

About the charity

Humanists International

Verified by JustGiving

RCN SC050629
Created via charity sign up service.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £1,446.25 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations
Direct donations
Donations via fundraisers

* Charities pay a small fee for our service. Find out how much it is and what we do for it.