Torture

#EndSARS: Ogun panel recommends payment of over N218 million to victims

Ogun Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has assured that he will implement the report of the State’s Judicial Panel of Investigation on Police Brutality and Extra Judicial Killings. The Governor who gave the assurance while receiving the report said its implementation was necessary towards having a peaceful society and engendering of a more robust relationship between the people and security agencies. Governor Abiodun who spoke on Friday appreciated the Panel members for their selfless efforts and contributions towards the successful completion of the task. “I believe that the implementation of this report will end the gory experience often encountered by residents of the State”, the Governor assured. The State’s helmsman added that it is important for all of us as a people and security agenci...

NGO calls for prosecution of security operatives who torture suspects

Access to Justice, a non-governmental organisation that focuses on judicial reforms, has called for the prosecution of security operatives who torture suspects. The NGO on Monday released a statement signed by Joseph Otteh, its convener, and Deji Ajare, project director, to commemorate the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Access to Justice said despite the fact that the Anti-Torture Act 2017 prohibits the torture of suspects, security agencies in Nigeria still engage in “brutal and inhumane tactics”. It noted that since the enactment of the act, no one has been prosecuted for perpetrating acts of torture. The NGO called on Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation, to as matter of urgency make the “rules and regulations for the effective implementation of t...

Canada leads call on China to allow Xinjiang access – statement

More than 40 countries urged China on Tuesday to allow the U.N. human rights chief immediate access to Xinjiang region to look into reports that more than a million people have been unlawfully detained there, some subjected to torture or forced labour. The joint statement on China was read out by Canadian Ambassador Leslie Norton on behalf of countries including Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Japan and the United States to the U.N. Human Rights Council. Beijing denies all allegations of abuse of Uyghurs and describes the camps as vocational training facilities to combat religious extremism. “Credible reports indicate that over a million people have been arbitrarily detained in Xinjiang and that there is widespread surveillance disproportionately targeting Uyghurs and members of other...

ICC swears in Karim Khan as new chief prosecutor

British lawyer Karim Asad Ahmad Khan has been sworn in as the new chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. He will perform his duties “honourably, faithfully, impartially and conscientiously,’’ Khan promised before the judges in The Hague on Wednesday. The representatives of the court’s 123 state parties had elected Khan in February. The 51-year-old succeeds Fatou Bensouda, 60, who must step down after nine years under the court’s rules. Khan wants to significantly improve the performance of the prosecution. Proceedings must become more effective and trials before the court more successful, he said in a brief statement. According to him, the criminal court is a sign of hope for justice. “It is an awful testament of the horror of mankind in this 21 century, as we s...

Group urges President Buhari to suspend NDDC forensic audit

The South South Reawakening Group, has called for the immediate suspension of the ongoing forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), describing it as a “circus of corruption”. Converner of the group, Joseph Ambakederimo, in a statement, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a board for the NDDC to start a new phase for the development of the region. According to them, it was no longer news that the forensic audit ordered by the President has now been turned into “a circus for mismanagement and misappropriation of public funds to oil the machinery of political interests of a few, while the region and its people continue to suffer the perpetual psychological torture of these buccaneers.” The group recalled that the NDDC is still presently being run by an interim s...

Saudi Arabia executes three soldiers for ‘cooperating with enemy’

Saudi Arabia has executed three soldiers convicted of “high treason” and “cooperating with the enemy”, with a statement from the kingdom’s defence ministry saying the trio was sentenced to death by a specialist court after a fair trial. The state-run Saudi Press Agency identified the men as soldiers working in the defence ministry. It did not elaborate on how the men aided the kingdom’s enemies. The ministry did not name the “enemy” either but the executions on Saturday were carried out in the southern province bordering Yemen where Saudi Arabia has been at war for more than six years against the Iran-backed Houthi fighters. Saudi Arabia has come under increasing global scrutiny over its human rights record since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 at the kingdom’s Istanbul co...

Amnesty: Russia may be ‘slowly’ killing Alexey Navalny

Alexey Navalny, the prominent opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is imprisoned in conditions that amount to torture and may slowly be killing him, human rights group Amnesty International said on Wednesday. Navalny, who last year was poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent, was now being subjected to sleep deprivation and did not have access to a doctor he could trust in jail, it said. “Russia, the Russian authorities, may be placing him into a situation of a slow death and seeking to hide what is happening to him,” Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general, said ahead of the publication of the group’s annual report. “Clearly the Russian authorities are violating his rights. We have to do more,” she said. “[They] have already attempted to kill him, they are n...

Report: US says ex-Egypt premier had diplomatic immunity from lawsuit

The Biden administration has said a lawsuit seeking to hold former Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi accountable for alleged involvement in torture against an Egyptian-American activist should be thrown out because he held diplomatic immunity, the Washington Post reported on Monday. In a submission to the US District Court in Washington, DC, shared by the Post, lawyers for the US Justice Department said “El Beblawi held diplomatic status at the time when the suit was commenced” and the court should dismiss “claims falling with the scope of his immunity”. El-Beblawi had served as Egypt’s representative to the International Monetary Fund, but quit and left the US in late October, the Post reported. The department said in its court filing that it was not making any judgements on the me...

US accuses Nigeria of significant human rights abuses

US Embassy in South Africa The United States has accusesd Nigeria of significant human rights abuses in its latest ‘’Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2020’’, released Wednesday by the Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour. In the report titled ‘’’Nigeria 2020 Human Rights Report, Executive Summary’’, the US accused Nigeria of ‘’significant’’ human rights abuses, which include: unlawful and arbitrary killings by both government and non-state actors; forced disappearances by the government, terrorists, and criminal groups; torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by the government and terrorist groups; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions. The 102-page report also accused the federal government of ‘’arbitrary d...

#EndSARS: Lagos governor extends panel sittings by three months

The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has extended the tenure of the state’s Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Related Abuses and Other Matters for another three months. This was disclosed on Tuesday by the panel headed by retired Justice Doris Okuwobi. With the extension the panel had been granted legal backing to six till July 19 instead of the initial deadline of April 19 in its terms of reference. The Lagos Judicial Panel was inaugurated by the Lagos State Governor on October 19 to among other things receive memoranda from concerned members of the public and inquire into cases of abuse, brutality, torture and extra judicial killings by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, in Lagos. Its terms of reference als...

PDP: Ex-service chiefs’ ambassadorial portfolio insufficient to stop ICC investigation

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has taken a swipe at the All Progressives Congress, APC, leadership in the Senate for “betraying Nigerians” by clearing former services chiefs for ambassadorial portfolios despite allegation of crime against humanity committed under their command. The party however insisted that the clearance will not stop the investigation and possible prosecution of the accused commanders by the International Criminal Court, ICC, for crime against humanity, with preliminary steps to have been initiated. In a statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, national public secretary of the party, the PDP described as horrendous the fact that the APC leadership in the Senate “could choose to betray Nigerians by rushing to clear the accused ex-service chiefs in a desperate attempt t...

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