Mubarak Bala

Name: Mubarak Bala

Country: Nigeria

Background: Mubarak Bala is the president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria. Formerly a chemical engineer and Muslim, in 2014, Bala renounced Islam and became an atheist. Bala’s family was extremely critical of this conversion, and his father had him arrested and eventually put into a psychiatric institution for almost a month. Following his release, Bala became a prominent atheist activist

Reason for arrest: On April 27, 2020, Bala was accused by a law firm in Kano, Kano State, Nigeria of making blasphemous posts on the internet denigrating the Prophet Muhammad, and according to The Humanist, “the petitioners alleged that Bala’s posts will incite the Muslim community and lead to public disturbance.”

The following day, Bala was arrested in Kaduna State, Nigeria and was transferred to Kano State following his arrest, though his whereabouts remain undisclosed. Bala was not formally charged and is therefore being subjected to unlawful detention, and it is believed that he may be rejected from accessing legal counsel.