" ITREALMS: Omar Farouq: Museum director appeals to Buhari, overturn sentence, offers self, 119 global volunteers - ITREALMS

Friday, September 25, 2020

Omar Farouq: Museum director appeals to Buhari, overturn sentence, offers self, 119 global volunteers - ITREALMS

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Poland-based Director of Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywinsky, has made passionate appeal to the Nigerian President, General Muhammadu Buhari, retired, to intervene in the recent sentencing of a 13-year Omar Farouq to 120 months in prison, reports 

He also described as disgraceful judgement the sentence of Omar over an alleged blasphemy by a Sharia court, whilst in an argument with a friend and proposed to take the place Omar if the clemency he was pleading was not appealing enough, just as he plans to mobilise some 119 adult volunteers to serve Farouq’s jail term. 

The letter dated Friday, September 25, 2020 and available to 
ITREALMS, Dr. Cywinsky said he was personally pained on learning about a young boy named Omar Farouq, “who was convicted recently in a Sharia court in Kano State in northwest Nigeria after being accused of blasphemy used during an argument with a friend.”

As the director of Auschwitz Memoria, 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," he declared.

He requested pardon on behalf of Omar Farouq, stressing that regardless of what he said, Omar cannot be treated as fully aware and responsible, given his age or subjected to the loss of the entirety of his youth by depriving him of opportunities and attendant stigmatization physically, emotionally and educationally for the rest of his life.

"I am convinced that the authority you possess can still undo this sentence," he pleaded with Buhari.

In the event of his appeal not being granted, Cywinsky proposed that in place of Omar that some 120 adult volunteers from all over the world, gathered by his centre including himself "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."

In addition, he told Buhari that if his appeal is granted for clemency or the proposal he made in lieu of punishment, that he would provide financial help for the boy's proper education..

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"This way, instead of destroyed young man, Nigeria will gain an aware and educated young citizen," he asserted.

The 48-year old Cywinsky reminded President Buhari that because human rights begin with the rights of the child, he should consider his proposal favourably, urging that this issue be quickly resolved according to 21st century standards.
Remmy Nweke/DoP

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