Free Iyan Tama

This website is dedicated to shedding light on the unjust imprisonment of one of Nigeria's most beloved Hausa movie producers and political activists: Iyan Tama.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No Justice: Iyan-Tama Jailed By Corrupt Officials

Free Iyan-Tama has recently been informed that Alhaji Hamisu Iyan Tama has had two felonious charges brought against him by a Kano state judge. Iyan-Tama has been ordered to at least 3 months in jail as well as a fine of 300 000 naira; along with this Iyan-Tama faces a fine of 10 000 naira or an additional 12 months in prison.

This sentencing comes after a lengthy process that began in May of 2008. The ruling was presided over by judge Mukhtar Ahmed in a special mobile court created to oversee cases associated with the censorship regime of the Kano Censorship Board. The judge put an end to the trial and passed this sentence after becoming impatient with the prosecution's inability to present witnesses in a timely fashion.

The entire situation has long been viewed by many as a political response to Iyan-Tama's contestation of thef gubernarial position in Kano state currently held by Malam Ibrahim Shekarau. As stated by Iyan-Tama in an interview with Leadership Nigeria earlier this year:

"The whole issue of my arrest is political, designed to humiliate me. You know, I contested the election against Malam Shekarau last year. Since then I have openly opposed some of his policies, which is in the interest of the good people of Kano State. And they know I still intend to contest the governorship election in 2011.

"But even though I disagree with them over the censorship laws, I refused to break any law. I shot the movie in Kaduna to prove that I am law-abiding. The US embassy premiered it in Abuja. And the film is not on sale anywhere in Kano. My production company was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. I decided not to renew my registration with the state censorship board because I have secured an office in Abuja, where I am planning to move."
The situation becomes increasingly sinister as there are reports of a plot to murder Iyan-Tama during his three month incarceration. It has become clear that the Kano Censorship Board believes it has a mandate to take any action regardless of constitutional legality, ethics or religious morality.

Our Mandate

This website is dedicated to shedding light on the unjust imprisonment of one of Nigeria's most beloved Hausa movie producers: Iyan Tama.

He was imprisoned for allegedly disregarding censorship laws imposed by the Kano Censorship Board on the Hausa movie industry.

His ground breaking movie, Tsintsiya, has in fact been approved at the federal level and is hailed by critics as an important landmark in the development of social peace in Nigeria.

Funded partially by the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria as part of an anti-violence and cultural tolerance campaign, Tsintsiya is a modern day Nigerian adaptation of the movie West Side Story.

Contact your local politicians, Nigerian embassies and media outlets to express your support for Iyan Tama and cultural peace and acceptance in Nigeria.