Target: President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan
Goal: Support release of an atheist who was detained in a psychiatric hospital after denouncing his former religion and prosecute those who threaten his life
Mubarak Bala is 29-year-old chemical process engineer who was wrongfully detained in a psychiatric hospital by his family after he revealed that he was an atheist. A recent petition demanded for his immediate release, and thankfully, Bala has been released. However, he is now in hiding after receiving multiple death threats for renouncing his religion. Urge the Nigerian government to step forward and support Bala’s beliefs and prosecute the individuals issuing death threats.
For nearly two weeks after he renounced his religion, Mubarak Bala was drugged and detained at Kano city’s Aminu Kano teaching hospital. His father, brother, and uncles brought him to the hospital after beating and drugging him. To alert outsiders of his plight, Bala took a smuggled cellphone into the hospital’s bathroom and tweeted about his situation. He tried to reach out to local civil activists and legislators, however, most ignored his pleas and international bodies had to intervene and fight for his release.
Sharia laws apply in Nigeria, and those that renounce their religion face isolation and death threats. Despite being released, Mubarak Bala has gone into hiding. He states that many of his friends and family no longer want to speak to him, and despite getting interviews from the Associated Press and other news outlets, Bala does not want to disclose his location. His only friend in this entire endeavor is businessman Bamidele Adeneye, who knew Bala before he was committed and mobilized help through Twitter. He too has received death threats, but intends on helping Bala.
Tell the President of Nigeria to not only support Bala’s views, but to prosecute those who are issuing death threats. International laws grant all human beings the right to freedom of expression and religion. The President should be protecting these rights, not forcing those who go against society to go into hiding. Protect Bala’s rights and safety by signing this petition.
Dear President Jonathan,
I am aware that your country is governed by sharia law, and those who renounce their religion face condemnation, isolation, and in the case of Mubarak Bala, death threats. However, as the leader of your people, I cannot believe you are allowing such actions to go unpunished. Bala has every right to his beliefs, and you should be punishing those who want to do him harm.
I urge you to publicly support Bala’s beliefs and prosecute those who are threatening his life. What his family and these strangers are doing to Bala is not ethical. Please do the right thing and ensure his safety.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Agriculture and Stock Department, Publicity Branch via Wikimedia Commons
Original petition: Release Detained Mental Ward Patient