Polish, 119 others ready to serve jail time for 13-year-old sentenced in Kano

No fewer than 120 world citizens have volunteered to serve the 10-year jail time for a 13-year-old Kano’s Sharia court convicted of blasphemy.

Dr Piotr Cywiński, the director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Warsaw, Poland, said he and 119 other are ready to serve the term in a letter he wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Cywiński, a 48-year-old historian and ecumenist, said they were offering to each serve a month in a Nigerian prison for Omar Farouq,

In his September 25 letter, Cywiński asked Buhari to pardon Farouq as he (Farouq) could not be treated as fully aware and responsible for his utterances, given his age.

“As the director of the Auschwitz Memorial, that commemorates the victims and preserves the remains of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp, where children were imprisoned and murdered, I cannot remain indifferent to this disgraceful sentence for humanity.

“I wish to request the pardon of this 13-year-old boy. Regardless of what he said, he cannot be treated as fully aware and responsible, given his age. He should not be subjected to the loss of the entirety of his youth, be deprived of opportunities, and stigmatised physically, emotionally, and educationally for the rest of his life. I am convinced that the authority you possess can still undo this sentence.

“However, if it turns out that the words of this child absolutely require 120 months of imprisonment, and even you are not able to change that, I suggest that in place of the child, 120 adult volunteers from all over the world, gathered by us – myself personally among them – should each serve a month in a Nigerian prison. In total, the price for the child’s transgression will be the same, and we will all avoid the worst.

“If you agree to grant clemency, or to the above proposal in lieu of punishment, I will make an attempt to provide financial help for the boy’s proper education. This way, instead of a destroyed young man, Nigeria will gain an aware and educated young citizen.”

There is no official response yet from Aso Rock.

Since the sentence, Farouq has approached an appeal court just as many interational organisations and right activists have been condemning the court decision.