Posts Tagged ‘Humanist International’

Mubarak Bala wins Humanist International 2021 Freedom of Thought Award

August 27, 2021

In recognition of his efforts and contributions to promote humanist values in Nigeria, the General Assembly of Humanists International awarded Mubarak Bala with the 2021 Freedom of Thought Award during its General Assembly. See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2021/04/29/un-experts-demand-release-of-nigerian-atheist-from-one-year-detention/

Born in Kano state, northern Nigeria, in 1984 and a chemical engineer by training, Mubarak Bala is a prominent member of the Humanist movement. As President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, he has played a vital role in the Humanist community in Nigeria.

Bala has been working to promote freedom of religion or belief in Nigeria and has been an outspoken religious critic in the conservative northern region, where open religious opposition is unusual. He has campaigned for the decriminalization of apostasy and blasphemy laws in states that implement Sharia in northern Nigeria. In addition he has engaged in human rights education and raised awareness on the importance of freedom of thought and conscience to peace, progress and stability in the region. He has organized meetings and conferences to enlighten the local populace especially those inclined to religious extremism and radical Islam due to indoctrination, lack of understanding or misinformation about freedom of religion or belief.

Bala has been held in detention since his arrest on 28 April 2020. Held for 15 months without any charge, Bala now faces charges of public disturbance in connection with Facebook posts deemed “blasphemous” he is alleged to have published in April 2020. In addition to being arbitrarily detained for 15 months, there have been several other violations of his rights to a fair trial, which include denying Bala access to his legal counsel until October 2020, failing to comply with a Federal High Court order to release Bala on bail, and consistent attempts to obstruct Bala’s legal team.

Andrew Copson, President of Humanists International, commented: “Mubarak Bala is an honorable humanist who has experienced great hardship and persecution in his realization of a life lived true to his values. Today he is a prisoner of conscience, whose thoughts are freer than he himself.”

The award was accepted on his behalf by his wife Amina Ahmed during the General Assembly of Humanists International on 15 August, commenting the award with these words:

On behalf of my husband Mubarak Bala, I really want to thank humanists all over the world for this wonderful honour. This award has really shown that the world still cares for Mubarak, and that Mubarak has not been forgotten. This is to show that humanity is above all regardless of religion and belief. I thank Humanists International for your utmost support and care for Mubarak’s family. We don’t know how to thank you enough, all I can say is thanks a zillion! And I know this is indeed a phase which will come to pass soon. I also want to thank the Humanists Association of Nigeria who has struggled these past months for Mubarak’s release. You have all really shown so much love and care for Mubarak and we really appreciate it.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/05/nigerian-humanist-mubarak-bala-receives-24-year-jail-sentence

Humanists International announces today a grand grants scheme for 2021

December 15, 2020

Humanists International has announced on 14 December its 2021 Grants Scheme: six grant programs for a total budget of £122,000

One of Humanists International’s strategic aims is “to have successful and sustainable member organizations in every part of the world.” In order to achieve this aim, Humanists International runs on a yearly basis a Growth & Development Plan to provide funding, training, intellectual resources and other forms of support to let humanist organizations around the world develop and flourish.

The 2021 Grants Scheme that has been announced today consists of six different grant programs:

  • Development Grants (£50,000)
  • Digital Humanism Grants (£25,000)
  • Regional Networking Meetings Grants (£15,000)
  • Humanist Ceremonies Grants (£10,000)
  • Young Humanist Grants (£16,000)
  • Café Humaniste Online Grants (£6,000)

All details about the six grant programs, the eligibility and selection criteria, and how to apply for a grant are available on the website under the Growth & Development page.

The deadline to apply is 12 February 2021.

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/06/15/humanists-calls-on-un-to-stop-reprisals-against-human-rights-defenders/

The launch of the Freedom of Thought Report 2020

December 9, 2020

On 10 December 2020 Humanist International launches its annual Freedom of Thought Report. Time: 3pm UTC. Location: Facebook or YouTube
Speakers:

● Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

● Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir, Mauritanian blogger, activist and former prisoner of conscience

● Debbie Goddard, Vice President ofAmerican Atheists and Board Member of Humanists International

● Rev. Frederick Davie, Commissioner of The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

● Andrew Copson, President of Humanists International

● Emma Wadsworth-Jones, Casework & Campaigns Manager at Humanists International

Since 2012 Humanists International has published the Freedom of Thought Report to monitor the rights and treatment of humanists, atheists and non-religious people in every country in the world.

This year, the thematic focus of the Report is COVID-19, and its impact on the non-religious people globally.

In particular the focus is on restrictions on:
● Women’s rights

● Media freedom, protest and access to information

● Individuals at risk.

10 December: Launch of the Freedom of Thought Report 2020 by Humanists International

November 10, 2020

International Human Rights Day 2020 is coming up and here is an early save the date for the Humanists International.

Since 2012 Humanists International has published the Freedom of Thought Report to monitor the rights and treatment of humanists, atheists and non-religious people in every country in the world. This year, the thematic focus of the Report is COVID-19, and its impact on the non-religious people globally. In particular we have seen the establishment of restrictions on:

– Women’s rights
– Media freedom, protest and access to information
– Individuals at risk

Here is the list of the event speakers:- Andrew Copson
President of Humanists International

Dr Ahmed Shaheed
UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Emma Wadsworth-Jones
Humanists International’s Casework & Campaigns Manager

Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir
Mauritanian blogger and anti-slavery activist

Debbie Goddard,
Vice-President of American Atheists

Rev. Fred Davie,
Commissioner of The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

The event will be live-streamed on Facebook on 10 December at 15.00 UTC.No registration is needed. Access is free. We are going to share the link of the live streaming with you in due time.Confirm your participation
to the event on Facebook now!

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/06/15/humanists-calls-on-un-to-stop-reprisals-against-human-rights-defenders/

The clock of Mubarak is ticking….

October 6, 2020

Humanist International created an ingenious way to show how long Mubarak Bala is being held illegally in detention:

Mubarak Bala has been detained arbitrarily
without charge for
:

 161  DAYS :    13  HOURS :    37  MINUTES :    00  SECONDS

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Mubarak Bala is the president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria. He has beenheld in detention without access to a lawyer since his arrest on 28 April 2020 in connection with a Facebook post.

Humanists International believes that Mubarak Bala is being targeted for the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and religion or belief, and calls for the case against him to be dropped, for Mubarak Bala to be released immediately and unconditionally, and for the Nigerian authorities to ensure his safety upon his release.

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