Despite national and international outcry, the Egyptian government has begun to demolish the 30 remaining historic houseboats on the riverside ... of the Nile in Giza, Cairo, citing a lack of registration. The move has angered residents and activists who accuse the state of erasing an important part of the country’s identity from its Golden Age era.
Allegedly, Deborah had requested that other students do not post religious material in a Whatsapp group meant for school assignments. Other reports state that she made a statement on social media insulting the prophet.
Samuel, a Christian, was first beaten and stoned before being set on fire on 12 May. Following the incident, the school was closed immediately, and the Sultan of Sokoto and the northern governors condemned the killing.
Although there have been arrests made, the charges were simply “criminal conspiracy and inciting public disturbances”, which many in the country have called out against.
Blasphemy and Sharia law
The Assistant General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God on Administration and Personnel, Pastor Johnson Odesola said: “Nigeria is one, Nigeria is a secular country, not a religious country.”
However, Sokoto is one of the northern states that practice Sharia law, and the Supreme Court of Nigeria does recognise blasphemy as a Sharia offence punishable by death. That said, it does state that the blasphemy “has to be established through evidence before a court of law” and that “the killing is controlled and sanctioned by the authorities.”
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Reactions in the north
Following the arrests, there have been youth protests in Sokoto calling for the unconditional release of the detained. The state government reacted by imposing a 24-hour curfew on the state.
The Northern Governors Forum (NGF) has condemned the killing, with the chairman, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, issuing a statement. The Kaduna government has banned protests related to religious activity in the state, to start with immediate effect.
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