Luck has shined on Omar Farouq, a Nigerian teenager who was sentenced to 10 years behind bars by a Sharia court in Kano, as he has relocated out of Nigeria due to threats to his life.
The Sharia Court, in 2020, sentenced Farouq for using language considered to be blasphemous towards Allah while chatting with his friend when he was a 13-year-old.
A Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Kola Alapini, however, challenged the judgement of the lower court by filing an appeal against the Kano State.
Similarly, the director of Poland’s Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, Piotr Cywinski, also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to pardon Farouq.
Farouq was subsequently cleared of all charges, acquitted, and released from prison on January 25, 2021.
It was gathered that after his release barely three weeks ago, Farouq was being threatened by some extremists in Kano State, a development which Poland’s Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial, corroborated on its website.
Cywinski, in a post on the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial website, said Farouq’s life is still under severe threat by extremist groups.
The director said, “In order to avoid a possible attack, Omar had to immediately relocate following his release”.
Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum further said:
“We plan to help Farouq to build a new life. Depending on the amount raised, we plan to provide him with a new home in a safe environment outside the Kano state where he was accused and tried, pay for his education, and also compensate part of the costs incurred by the lawyers supporting him in Nigeria.”
Cywinski added that due to legal regulations of museums’ operations in Poland, the fundraising effort and all related communications will be driven by the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, of which the Museum Director is also President.
“The Foundation will do this pro bono,” Cywinski said.