Release Man Detained in Mental Institution for his Religious Beliefs

Kano, Nigeria Flag

Target: Chief Medical Director of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Aminu Zakari Muhammad

Goal: Demand the release of a wrongly detained Nigerian patient from mental health institution

When Mubarak Bala told his family that he had lost his belief in God and turned away from Islam, they were convinced he was mentally ill. Mubarak’s family forced him into a mental health institution where he has been incarcerated, despite a doctor’s opinion that Mubarak has no psychological problems at all. For nearly two weeks, Mubarak has been forcibly medicated for his alleged insane mentality.

Mubarak lives in Kano, the predominant Muslim North of Nigeria where the strict Islamic police force brings fear amongst those who do not follow the common religious practice. In this region is is especially dangerous for one to announce his or her belief in Atheism. This fear may have motivated the Bala family to put Mubarak in a mental health institution. Regardless of their reasons, Mubarak does not belong in an institution because he is not mentally ill. He has the right to choose between believing in a religion or believing in Atheism. Forcing him into a mental institution and medicating him for not following the common religious views is a violation of human rights.

Sadly, his time in the institution has begun to take its toll on Mubarak’s state of health. The International Humanist and Ethical Union believes Mubarak’s deteriorating condition within the institution is cause for concern after reports claim he is weak and his hands are shaking. Mubarak does not deserve to be detained solely because he refuses to conform to religious views in which he does not believe. Sign this petition and demand his release from the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital.


Dear Chief Medical Director of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Aminu Zakari Muhammad,

It has come to my attention that your hospital is wrongfully detaining a man for not conforming to the common religious views of your region. Mubarak Bala, the man wrongfully detained, does not deserve to be kept in your hospital where he is forcibly medicated and must be released. There is absolutely no justification for this violation of human rights.

People should have the freedom to voice their opinions and choose whether or not to believe in a religion or follow Atheism. You cannot allow this atrocity to go on any further. I demand that you release this man whom you have wrongfully detained.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Bohr via Wikimedia Commons

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