Author: Bill Flavell

Why AAI Supports Freedom of Expression

Salman Rushdie If you are in your forties or older, you will remember the publication of Salman Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses in September 1988. When publisher Viking Penguin, took on this novel they could never have imagined the dire consequences that decision would bring. Some Muslims in the UK considered the book blasphemous and the publisher received tens of thousands of letters dema...

Mubarak Bala: Best News for 24 Weeks

Mubarak Bala’s fundamental human rights enforcement case was finally heard in a high court in Abuja today—almost 24 weeks after it was first filed and 25 weeks after Mubarak was incarcerated. Mubarak is the President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria. He was arrested on April 28 and detained without being charged and without access to his lawyers. The defendants in the case were the Nig...

Mubarak is Alive!

After the heartbreaking possibility that Mubarak Bala had been killed in prison, I am delighted to say, the email claiming his death was fake. He is alive and well and has been allowed to make some ‘phone calls. Before we get angry that anyone would send such a heartless fake email, we should consider the possibility that the intention may have been to pressure the Nigerian authorities to al...

Has Mubarak Bala Been Killed?

Hass Mubarak Bala been killed? A source claims a fake autopsy is being carried out on him.

Two Nigerian Blasphemy Cases Appealed

We appeal two young Nigerians convicted of blasphemy. Latest news here.

Yahaya Sharif-Aminu: AAI will Appeal his Death Sentence

Mubarak’s Wife Appeals to Nigerian Senate

Today marks a grim milestone. Mubarak Bala has been held by police in Kano State, Nigeria for 100 days without access to his lawyers or his family and without appearing in court. His whereabouts remain unknown. Today, after 100 days without seeing her husband and without knowing if he is alive or dead, Amina Ahmed has sent an appeal to the Nigerian Senate asking for the smallest things—to be given...

Kano Police Chief Rips up Court Order

By law, everyone detained by police in Nigeria has an absolute right to legal representation and to be charged within 48 hours or be released. Unless you are an atheist. And you are arrested in Islamic Northern Nigeria for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammed.  In the case of Mubarak Bala, the police, the courts and the politicians have amply demonstrated that every legal statute from the Constitu...

Mrs Amina Mubarak Tells Her Story

Today, Mubarak Bala’s wife speaks publicly for the first time on the stress and pain of living without her husband and not knowing where he is or whether he is alive. We spoke to her live from Nigeria and this is her story. Mubarak has been in police custody in Northern Nigeria since April 28, without access to his lawyers or his family. He has not been charged and his whereabouts are unknow...

Mubarak Bala: Putting His Accuser To The Test

S.S. Umar & Co is a small legal practice operating from a modest office located at 328 Zoo Road, Kano in Northern Nigeria. The principal, one Salisu Salisu Umar, combines his legal work with property consultancy. After eight years and seven months running this business, Mr. Umar does not seem to have invested in a website and cannot be found in any of the trade directories that list the many l...

Happy Birthday, My Brother, Mubarak Bala!

Mubarak, today is your birthday but I cannot talk to you. I don’t even know where you are and nor does your wife or your children or any of the people who love you and respect you. But we are thinking about you. We think about you every day and every hour. If you feel very alone on your special day, you shouldn’t. You should know that tens of thousands of people know you were arrested on April 28 ...

Mubarak—45 Days in Custody

It is now 45 days since Mubarak Bala was arrested on suspicion of blasphemy in Kaduna, Nigeria. Apart from a brief ‘phone call with his lawyer on April 29, and contrary to Mubarak’s guaranteed rights, police authorities have refused to divulge his whereabouts and have denied him access to his lawyers. Furthermore, police in Nigeria have a legal duty either to charge a suspect within 48...