Atheist taken to psychiatric hospital

A Nigerian man sent to a mental institute in Kano state after he declared that he did not believe in God, is now in hiding and says he has been receiving death threats. Mubarak Bala says he wants to leave northern Nigeria but first is trying to reconcile with his family, especially the father, two uncles and older brother who assaulted him, drugged him and committed him to the psychiatric ward of Kano city’s Aminu Kano teaching hospital.

The BBC originally reported that when Mr Bala told relatives he did not believe in God, they asked doctors if he was mentally ill. One declared that his atheism was a side-effect of suffering a personality change, and Mr Bala was forcibly committed to a psychiatric ward.The hospital said it was treating Mr Bala, 29, for a ‘challenging psychological condition’, and would not keep him longer than necessary.

Kano is a mainly Muslim state and adopted Islamic law in 2000.