Sunday, July 20, 2008

African Union Scores Nigeria High on Human Rights Violations

AU scores Nigeria high on human rights violation

Written by Inalegwu Shaibu
Saturday, 19 July 2008

THE African Union (AU) has listed Nigeria among countries in the continent with the highest number of human rights violation that include the torture of prison inmates and those in police custodies.

AU said subjecting of persons in prison custody and other detention centres by police men, prison staff and other security agents to elicit information from them is very common in the country.

It has therefore urged the Federal Government to implement the Robben Island Guidelines (RIG) on the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture to stop the torture of persons in Nigerian prisons and police custodies.

Commissioner, African Commission on Human and Peoples Right, Mrs. Dupe Atoki speaking at one day regional workshop for Heads of Police and Prisons on the Prevention of Torture in Africa held in Abuja, said the country needs to amend the existing laws that seem to protect perpetrators of torture.

She said torture of inmates in prisons and people in police custody by policemen and other law enforcement agents is widespread in the sub region including Nigeria.

She said, “Torture anywhere is an affront to human dignity everywhere. Freedom from torture is inalienable human rights. Many international conventions forbid governments from deliberately inflicting severe physical or mental pain or suffering on those within their custody or control.

“Yet torture continues to be practiced around the continent by some regimes and institutions whose cruel match their determination to crush the human spirit.

Beating, burning, rape and electric shock are some of grisly tools used to terrorize their own citizens.
These despicable crimes cannot be tolerated by a region committed to justice.”

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