The United Kingdon on Wednesday stated its position on the death sentence passed on a Kano musician, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, by a Shari’a court.
The UK in its statement noted that citizens have the right right to freely express opinions and peacefully challenge authorities, noting that this was essential to a free and open society.
The Shari’a court had penultimate Monday imposed the death sentence on Sharif-Aminu, aged 22, for committing blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed in a song he circulated via WhatsApp.
The judgement has been condemned by prominent individuals and Nigerians, meanwhile, the Shari’a Council has called on Governor Umar Ganduje of Kano State to sign the death warrant.
The British High Commission in Nigeria while commenting on the sentence noted that it would continue to monitor the situation.
In an emailed response by the Senior Press and Public Affairs Officer, British High Commission, Christopher Ogunmodede, the Mission said the UK Government oppose the death penalty in all circumstances.
It read, “The United Kingdom is firmly committed to promoting and protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief around the world, and to being a strong voice internationally in defence of this fundamental right.”
“We believe that the rights of individuals to express opinions and peacefully challenge authorities are essential to a free and open society. We will continue to monitor the situation closely. It is a longstanding policy of the UK Government to oppose the death penalty, in all circumstances, as a matter of principle.”