Written answers

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Human Rights

Patricia Ryan (Kildare South, Sinn Fein)
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299. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the actions he will take to assist a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43348/20]

Photo of Colm BrophyColm Brophy (Dublin South West, Fine Gael)
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I am aware of the case raised by the Deputy. The person whose details are supplied is a child who was sentenced to ten years in prison by a Sharia Court in the State of Kano, northern Nigeria, following a conviction for blasphemy handed down on 10 August.

Following the sentencing, on 16 September UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, called on the Nigerian Government and the Kano State Government to urgently review the case with a view to reversing the sentence, on the basis that it is in contravention of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Nigeria ratified in 1991, and a violation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and Nigeria’s Child Rights Act 2003.

On 26 November, an appeal against the sentence was heard by the High Court in the city of Kano, northern Nigeria. A judgment is currently awaited in this case. Any further decision may be appealed before Nigeria’s Federal Court of Appeal.

Ireland works bilaterally, within the European Union, and with UN partners to promote and protect human rights including the rights of the child and freedom of religion or belief for all.

The Embassy of Ireland in Nigeria regularly engages on human rights issues with other EU Member States in Nigeria, and with the Nigerian authorities. The Embassy is aware of this case and, as an active Member State, is supporting the European Union Delegation in Nigeria in its engagement with the Nigerian authorities on this case.

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