A Nigerian man has been detained and hospitalized after being declared mentally ill, apparently because he said he didn’t believe in God. The International Humanist and Ethical Union is advocating on his behalf and BBC News has the story:
Mubarak Bala was being held against his will at the hospital after his Muslim family took him there, it said.
The hospital said it was treating Mr Bala, 29, for a “challenging psychological condition”, and would not keep him longer than necessary.
Kano is a mainly Muslim state and adopted Islamic law in 2000.
The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) says that when Mr Bala told relatives he did not believe in God, they asked a doctor if he was mentally ill.Despite being told that he was not unwell, Mr Bala’s family then went to a second doctor, who declared that his atheism was a side-effect of suffering a personality change, the group says.
Mr Bala, a chemical engineering graduate, was forcibly committed to a psychiatric ward at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, but was able to contact activists using a smuggled phone, it says.
IHEU spokesman Bob Churchill said the group was concerned about his “deteriorating condition” and called for his “swift release”.
The situation in Nigeria continues to get worse, it seems, both in the parts controlled by Christians and the parts controlled by Muslims.