A Nigerian man detained in a hospital psychiatric ward because he did not believe in God has been freed.
Mubarak Bala was released because of a doctors’ strike which has seen many patients discharged, a charity said.
Mr Bala said he now wanted to reconcile with his family who committed him to the hospital in Kano where he says he was held against his will for 18 days.
But he said he wanted to leave the predominantly Muslim north of Nigeria after receiving death threats.
A humanist charity which took up his case said that Mr Bala, a chemical engineering graduate, was freed on Tuesday but news of his release was not made public until he was in a secure location.
“There are still deep concerns for Mubarak’s safety in a part of the country where accusations of ‘apostasy’ can be deadly,” the International Humanist and Ethical Union said…
In a statement released on Friday, Mr Bala said he was now staying with some of his family, had been assured of his safety and wanted to put things behind him “for the sake of reconciliation”…
He said he retracted “some derogatory remarks I have made online, out of anger”.
His lawyer, Muhammad Bello Shehu, told the BBC Hausa Service this did not refer to his faith but to remarks he had made about his father who he accused of being an Islamic leader who could not afford to have a non-Muslim in the family.
After the 29-year-old was admitted to a psychiatric ward at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, he sought help from friends via email and social media until his phone was confiscated, according to IHEU.
Mr Shehu said that no further legal action would be taken but that Mr Bala wanted another doctor to evaluate him to put it on the record that he was not suffering from a mental illness as the hospital has concluded.
Good thing we live in a modern country where there is separation of church and state.