Amnesty International has condemned the conviction of two TikTok stars in Kano, northern Nigeria, for defaming state governor Abdullahi Ganduje.Mubarak Muhammad alias Unique Pikin and Nazifi Muhammad, the TikTokers, had pleaded guilty and requested leniency.
However, the judge sentenced them to 20 lashes each, a fine of 10,000 naira (£20; £17), and 30 days of cleaning the court premises.
They were also ordered to apologize to Mr Ganduje publicly on social media. Amnesty International stated that the “cruel sentences” must be overturned and that the young TikTok stars must be released “immediately and unconditionally.”
Amnesty International said the “cruel sentences must be quashed” and that the young TikTok stars “must be immediately and unconditionally released”.
Parts of the sentences have been carried out. The pair was whipped in public in the court’s premises and have paid the fine.
Their lawyer said they would not appeal against the judgement.
Nigeria has seen a growing number of social media stars who use comedy to comment on social and political issues – attracting massive followers to their accounts. BBC AFRICA