Human rights groups have condemned two TikTok creators in Nigeria being sentenced to be flogged and fined for mocking a prominent politician.
Mubarak Muhammad – who goes by the alias Uniquepikin – and Nazifi Muhammad were told they would be lashed 20 times and fined 10,000 naira (around £17) for a skit criticising Abdullahi Ganduje, the governor of the northern state of Kano.
The pair, who were remanded in prison for nearly a week, were also ordered to publicly apologise to Ganduje on social media and clean the court premises for 30 days.
Osai Ojigho, director of Amnesty International Nigeria, said: “The decision to remand them in prison for a week without trial is a brazen violation of their right to a fair trial. Satirising those in authority is not a crime. Nigerian authorities must immediately quash this appalling sentence.
“Authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Mubarak Muhammad and Nazifi Muhammad as they are sentenced solely for peacefully exercising their human rights.”
The TikTok creators were arrested last week after publishing a TikTok mocking Ganduje for alleged land grabbing and corruption – as well as sleeping on the job.
The original video seems to have since been deleted from Uniquepikin’s TikTok account.
SERAP, a nonprofit devoted to promoting transparency in Nigeria, said that the sentences must be quashed.