Man Stoned to Death in Nigeria for “Blasphemy”

A Nigerian man was stoned to death by a mob on Sunday the 25th in the northern Nigerian state of Sokoto. The man was named Usman Buda. Buda was a butcher who, according to police, “allegedly blasphemed the Holy Prophet Muhammad” in an argument with another trader at a public marketplace. Videos taken show a crowd, including children, throwing a multitude of stones at Buda while he laid on the ground. Police were called to the scene, causing the mob to disperse and leaving Buda unconscious, and severely wounded. He was brought to the Usmanu Danfodiyo Teaching Hospital, where he was eventually pronounced dead after succumbing to his wounds.

Nigeria is roughly split between Islam and Christianity, with the North being predominantly Muslim and the south being predominantly Christian. Due to this, Nigeria operates on two different court systems, with many of the northern Muslim states using a form of Sharia, though both carry punishments for blasphemy. A number of the Muslim states have severe punishments for blasphemy, with the death penalty legally available, though this particular killing was extrajudicial.

Amnesty International has warned that if the government does not seek to punish these sorts of killings, the frequency of them will only increase. “The government is not taking the matter seriously and that has to change”, said Isa Sanusi, the Acting Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

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