Rhoda Jatau released after 18 months in detention for alleged blasphemy.
A Bauchi state health worker has finally been released after spending 18 months in detention for blasphemy.
Rhoda Jatau was released on bail on Friday following interventions by human rights activists, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council, and Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria.
Jatau, a 45-year-old mother of five, was arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) on May 20, 2022, for sharing a video condemning the lynching of Deborah Yakubu.
Deborah, a 200-level student at Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, was killed and burned in a mob violence incident by Islamic fanatics over an alleged blasphemous message on WhatsApp. Her brutal murder sparked outrage online from different quarters and even the international community.
The continued detention of Jatau has recently raised international concerns from the United Nations and organisations such as Christian Solidarity International. They had contended that Jatau’s incarceration represented an infringement on her fundamental rights to freedom of expression, religion, or belief.
500 women rights group under the aegis of Womanifesto had also urged the Federal Government to drop all charges against Rhoda Jatau.
Confirming her release, Rhoda’s husband, Ya’u Jatau, expressed joy over the release of his wife.
Ya’u said he could not express his level of joy over the release of his wife.
He said: “I feel very, very happy that my wife has been released and is back home. I cannot thank God enough. I want to thank everyone who made this happen. That is all I can say at the moment.”
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