Responding to the sentencing of TikTok stars Mubarak Muhammad (Uniquepikin) and Nazifi Muhammad by a court in Kano, northern Nigeria, to flogging and a fine for allegedly defaming a politician, Osai Ojigho Director of Amnesty International Nigeria said:
“Amnesty International condemns the sentencing of TikTokers Mubarak Muhammad (Uniquepikin) and Nazifi Muhammad for allegedly defaming the governor of Kano state in northern Nigeria. The decision to remand them in prison for a week without trial is a brazen violation of their fair trial rights. Satirizing those in authority is not a crime. Nigerian authorities must immediately quash this appalling sentence.
“Authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Mubarak Muhammad and Nazifi Muhammad as they are sentenced solely for peacefully exercising their human rights.”
“Nigerian authorities must respect, protect, promote, and fulfill the right of everyone to freedom of expression. The outrageous court order to flog and fine them is heavy-handed and clearly aimed at gagging young Nigerians and restricting their access to social media.
These outrageous sentences are just the latest to be meted out by Nigeria’s cruel justice system and expose the authorities’ complete disregard for freedom of expression. Nigerian authorities must quash these cruel sentences and immediately and unconditionally release Mubarak Muhammad and Nazifi Muhammad.Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria
“Authorities must ensure that Mubarak Muhammad and Nazifi Muhammad are protected from torture and other ill-treatment.”
“Increasingly, Nigerians who use social media to comment on social and political issues face intimidation. Some have come under attacks and threats of arrest. Using repressive tactics to control what Nigerians do on social media is an unacceptable violation of human rights. This must stop.”
On Monday 7 November 2022, a court in Kano northern Nigeria sentenced TikTok stars Mubarak Muhammad (Uniquepikin) and Nazifi Muhammad to a whipping and also forced them to clean the court for allegedly using the social media platform to mock a government official. They were also ordered to pay a fine of 10,000 Naira ($20) after a week in detention. The two TikTok stars have a large following and use satire and comedy to question government officials as well as social and political issues on their platform.