***URGENT : Right now we desperately need a larger human rights organization to take this on. We don’t have the experience, expertise or resources to do this by ourselves. If you are a rep from an organization willing to look into this, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is all of the information re: Mubarak Bala’s situation. Included below the updates are photos, emails from him and private messages on Twitter. If you have anything you can add to this, please advise at email@example.com
Update: Please do not call the doctor anymore – too many people calling might scare him off. We have a human rights org. handling the doctor.
Update 2: Despite no diagnosis and Mubarak being deemed sane, family is going ahead with “treatment”. I don’t know what this means, but it will involve him being drugged and held in psych ward.
Update 3: Mubarak’s mother has been thrown out of her home. We have no idea where she is or if she has anywhere to stay.
Update 4: Mubarak’s mother is back in the home. Mubarak has been given a clean bill of health and his doctor was surprised that we knew about this. In spite of his good health, Mubarak is still being held in the psych ward at his father’s insistence. He will be treated.
Update 5 : Here’s what’s happened:
- During our first tweet blast we got a lot of backlash for not having the story fully confirmed. We were sure, as many of us had been tweeting with Mubarak for months prior to this incident. However, we needed to be able to confirm it for others.
- One of the people involved in the Twitter campaign, @deezer234, is an associate of a larger humanists group, International Humanists and Ethical Union (IHEU) and was able to obtain a human rights lawyer for Mubarak.
- The lawyer, who wishes to remain anonymous (but can be passed along for serious press inquiries – email firstname.lastname@example.org), visited the hospital over the weekend and was able to confirm that yes, Mubarak is being held there. He also informed us that Mubarak has a great deal of security around him because he kept taking phones to get in contact with us.
- A Petition was started here: http://ctt.ec/2j5U9+ and as of this writing, has 1800 signatures. Please sign it and share it.
- We posted the story to Reddit and it currently has near 2400 upvotes.
- After a phone call with Mubarak’s lawyer, IHEU was able to find out that he will be filing an action on behalf of Mubarak very soon.
Other posts around the web about this story:
- Huffington Post – Nigeria Must Remain Neutral When It Comes To Religion
- Atheist Revolution – Godless Mom Seeking Help to Free Mubarak
- The Urban Atheist - A Nigerian Atheist In Fear for His Life: Help #FreeMubarak
- Thought Prophets – Episode 40
- Patheos – Nigeria: Ex-Muslim faces execution for being an atheist: #FreeMubarak
- Mubarak Bala is a Nigerian atheist currently being held against his will at a mental hospital in Kano
- Quranify Me – Nigerian Atheist
People who can follow for more updates:
If you want to help or want more info, please email email@example.com
Update 6: Official statement from The International Humanists and Ethical Union : http://iheu.org/nigerian-man-detained-on-psychiatric-ward-for-atheism/
Update 7: The story has appeared on:
- BBC Radio
- The Friendly Atheist
- The Independent
- International Business Times
- We’ve also appeared in the Associated press, ABC, Vice, and many more.
End of Updates
The first email we got from Mubarak – out of the blue:
Hi names removed,
This is Mubarak, (@mubarakbala) the ExMuslim from the Shari’ah State of Kano, Nigeria. I can only reach you today because I have been sedated (tranquilized) with an injection administered on those who are mentally unstable. After being beaten to pulp, and choked by the neck until I passed out, (asphyxia), by my Dad and 3 of his male brothers. It was friday evening, just waking up to see myself in a psychiatric hospital, among mad-men. The family had long been threatening my life.
Miss name removed, you may be aware of the Islamist Bala Muhammad of saturday column of WeeklyTrust newspapers, that’s my Dad; the DG of A Daidaita Sahu, the other arm of Sharia enforcement in Kano state.
Now, I woke up only to realize their new doctor has prescribed drugs and injections for me as a psycho patient, on false account that I have been deluded telling people am a senator and governor and minister, so appallingly absurd! It is the same Doctor that told me last week on a ‘mock’ therapy, that ‘everyone needs God’), eventhough another doctor who studied in Russia had 6mnths ago told them Atheism is not a mental disease, and gave me a clean bill of health… they were obviously disappointed, so they opted to a more conservative one, who studied in Egypt.
What I fear is; the injections and drugs have started shifting my facial orientation and affecting my speech and reasoning, my hands are now shivering on their own. It may end-up ruining my brain, my life, and if I am helpless and discharged home, they could fake something like my suicide, to rid themselves of the scum, they have been threatening such, ever since I declared openly I’m an ExMuslim.
My Dad keeps saying; whoever among his children abandons Islam is no longer a human being, but a monster. You can read it online, on his column, www.weeklytrust.com/saturdaycolumn, some 25 weeks ago: Titled ’10 reasons to turn off your TV’.
Name removed is a Kano guy now living in Canada, a freerthinker, I copied him because he knows there’s nothing like autopsy in Nigeria, so in case I’m killed and made to appear a suicide of a psycho with issues, I’ll just be gone, forever. I’ll try and hide the phone, to keep in-and he may find a way to send me any financial help you could muster, on the short-term basis, before I find another footing. Know that If I go unconscious, as I normally do now, they may find my phone and take away. The hospital is federal teaching hosp. Kano, AKTH, psychiatric Ward.
Further exposing their desperation, as my mom sneaked to give me back my phone, just so I hurry to make some contact before it’s too late, I realized my Dad has already made a post in my name, with the phone, to my friends on facebook, posting the Shahada (testimony of faith in Islam), on the same night, which further implies it was never about my health, but family honor. I knew every post insulted his intolerance, and anti-semitic personality, as a big man of Kano.
Another twist is that, the matrons and nurses here read my file, and were discussing that a new ‘patient’ is an Atheist, (very alien), and they (unprofessionally) tipped off other inmates, that I have insulted Islam and the Prophet… these inmates are hardened addicts on rehab, delinquents and violent psychos, some even eat their shit, others fight bloody, daily. They now have been insulting and threatening my life, I had to bribe them with my food and provision and join in every prayer, to be safe.
What I need from all you, including my new friend, Jesse McLean of Toronto Star newspaper, (I’ve ran your errand when a bomb exploded in Kano), is to broadcast my case, on twitter especially, and contact @name removed who has access to influential people in Nigeria, she doesn’t open her mail much, and she’s always busy, so she will b hard to find.
Pls help me, however little you can, if I can get out of this hospital, which I know may be impossible, or maybe by then it’s too late. I still plan an escape though, I did on the day of the first therapy. But my muscles cannot run fast now, the injections really put me down, and I’m frail like an old woman, still if I’m to escape, I need some way out, (not necessarily out of the country for now, but away, far away from home).
I’m optimistic if u broadcast this mail, and my twitter handle, my case will be heard, before they hunt me, or unleash Shari’ah fanatics on me to kill me. The government might as well arrest me if I’m noticed. My resources are now very limited. They seized my car, my home and all my source of funds, plus the MSc. program I was supposed to go in London since september last year.
Thank you, pls keep my hope alive, I don’t know anybody, all friends we grew up together have ostracized me due this Atheism, I only have my mom, who has no money, weak and unschooled. I can only tell you this, this mail may be all the difference for me, between life and death, between sanity and insanity. Thank you, good human beings.
After which this chat took place. Click here for the doc.
The second email we got from Mubarak:
Hi good people.
My mom persuaded my Dad to isolate me away from the real patients, cuz they fight bloody, everyday, and the filth is just too much, I’m now in a single-room, trying to adjust, I also try to behave well, and fake swallowing their pills, just so they discharge me in time. Escape proves difficult, there are about 5 manned gates towards the only exit to the Ward.
Thank you for all the efforts. The dangers I think have subsided, I was confused and in pain and frail initially, given the violence and the manner I was handled. Plus lies they told the conservative doctor about me, to which he readily succumbed, that I was going about saying I’m a senator or governor, preposterous lies, which they entered in my psycho-file, some here that I copied are my few remaining friends, they know who I am and the activism I pertake.
I saw the doctor (Mustapha) this morning, and asked my diagnosis, they never told me before, he says personality change (from Muslim to Atheist), which he says was Psychosis, to which the other doctors on his team asked, ‘am I really an atheist and no longer a Muslim?’, when I answered in the affirmative (PS:if I were to fake it in his presence, he’ll confirm to them I’m confused or faking), so they all scoffed and laughed, apparently convincing themselves I’m deluded.
My brother, @Auwal_Muhammad, a pediatric doctor working in Saudi Arabia, who helped got me here, flew same week, and now returned to KSA. He’s ultra-conservative, and he convinced the doctor and my Dad I’m mentally ill.
Also I managed to call the liberal doctor that gave me a clean bill of health on the same issue, 6months ago, although on leave, he promised to come, he was surprised at his colleagues’ decision, and told me its regrettable.
Bye for now. Thanx, once again, you keep me hopeful and lively, but the condition is depressing. I feel like I’m in jail.
Hi good people,
So much as I appreciate all your efforts and well-wishes, I try to keep you updated. I learnt that I may be discharged this coming friday, and eventhough blood sample has been taken, supposedly to check me for typhoid, I don’t feel frail from the earlier injections anymore, unless if reintroduced.
If I’m kept longer than this weekend, then I won’t mind any help to get me out, seizing the phone won’t matter by then.
Name removed, these attachments are those you requested, and if you’re in Kano, you can feel free to check on me to further ascertain. Initially they said I’ll be here months, if so, that’s very unacceptable, so I remain calm to see if I’ll be discharged amicably, by the expected friday.
Thank you, once again, will keep you posted.
This may be my last mail before freedom (or doom), I was earlier telling you my dad came visiting, and appeared conciliatory. Well, I was wrong, it’s one of his cunning ways, it was to break the news that I’m to be sent back-in the ward, from the safer Amenity room, ‘to re-integrate with the population, and join every congregational prayer (this is what he says with his mouth). The population; such kind that threaten me as a blasphemer, in the filth, odour and mosquitoes. I never fall asleep in here, some shout throughout the night, others fight bloody, and some still do the narcotics in the laundry, I saw it, meaning they are even more unpredictable.
If the Russian educated Dr. Minjibir has also not come, by friday, I gave out his number to godless Momma, the Canadian, someone can talk to him to ascertain my mental sanity. And why he took the initial decision I’m okay, ‘that I can be sane as well as an atheist’. Please get him to reverse the other doctor’s decision, for he was fed lies just to get a ‘guilty’ verdict (his name is Dr. Mustapha, the Nig./Egyptian educated conservative, the one who told me even in Japan they have a God, and that everyone needs a God, and that it is a psychotic symptom to change ‘personality’, from muslim-atheist).
Now my father, (Bala Muhammad) is looking for the phone at home, mom just told me, meaning by morning, the search will reach here. In case it’s found, and this is my last mail, I’ll try an escape thursday or friday, whenever they allow us O.T (exercise/leisure outdoors). In case yet again, I’m unsuccessful, by weekend, I have given the permission to use every means possible to get me out of here. I now think my Dad has made up his mind, to really make my brain zombie-like, or I die, whichever way saves his ‘prestige’, that’s why he hurriedly declared my Shahada same hour I was sedated.
He is big in the national Islamic movement, and his saturday articles in WeeklyTrust paper affirms that (along with Adamu Adamu the friday columnist, name removed can affirm this). Little info; At home, he prays the Taliban returns to power, and has a soft spot/sympathy for Boko Haram, he always praises Hezbollah, the Nazi, and he mutes the TV when Netanyaho speaks, and mostly watches PressTV. In short, he’s an Islamist, thus, cannot afford such family ‘disgrace’. Since he has the power to dictate where I’m to be kept, how and where, maybe then even what drug to be administered. Know that in Nigeria, any big man is an authority in any profession, if his pocket can afford it.
I am now left at the mercy of real-life psychos who are unpredictable, and (on the assumption) I take the same pills as them, even as my brain now heals from the earlier drugs injected when I was sedated, friday. My muscles feel stronger now, but I fear any overt action taken by you by weekend, may even push them even more desparate, and may try to put me down again. So you may devise a way; like say the diagnosis is inconclusive, and you need to be convinced from a neutral non-muslim doctor, that I’m a psycho, a Christian or Atheist I care-less, in a neutral (secular) city say, Abuja. That way, I think we can unclasp their grasp.
Thank you, once again, I’ll try to keep in touch, if I can. (I feel now feel for my mother, she’s in big trouble if she’s discovered to have sneaked me the phone), he can be abusive.
Other important info:
Mubarak’s Doctor: Dr. Minjibir at +2348032181540
Mubarak’s hospital : Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital at +234-7068297396, +234-706829739
Mubarak’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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