Atheists and humanists are facing discrimination and persecution in Kenya because of their beliefs and values, according to a new report.
Non-religious people in Kenya are often ostracised,
Mubarak Bala, president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, was last month arrested after being accused of blasphemy, which carries the death penalty. Bala, the son of a widely regarded Islamic scholar, has been an outspoken religious critic in a staunchly conservative region of the country.
“To speak out and say you’re an atheist or humanist in Nigeria can be dangerous, but Bala is very passionate about creating a space for those who do not subscribe to Islam or religion,” said Leo Igwe, a fellow Nigerian humanist and human rights advocate.
A range of tactics is used against humanists, atheists and non-religious people, says the report, which was funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. They include the criminalisation of blasphemy and apostasy, impunity for attacks, social isolation and discrimination.
In Kenya, Harrison Mumia was fired by the Central Bank of Kenya for being a vocal atheist.