We are appalled by the decision of a Nigerian court to sentence the President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, Mubarak Bala to 24 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to blasphemy charges.
Blasphemy laws are incompatible with international human rights standards not only because they impose undue restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and other human rights, but also because they are discriminatory in their effect.
Progress is best served when all ideas are subject to scrutiny and criticism. Ideas derived from religious belief neither deserve nor require exemption from this principle.
This is a day of shame for the Nigerian authorities.