Stop enforced disappearance of Nigerians, AI tells FG

The Amnesty International has called on the Federal Government to comply with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and end the scourge in the country.

The group said the Federal Government’s continued failure to establish the truth and bring justice to victims’ families was a “growing stains on Nigeria reputation.”

The organisation’s Media Manager, Isa Sanusi, made its position known in a statement on Monday.

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He disclosed that the group had documented at least 200 people whose whereabouts remained unknown.

Sanusi added that the documented people included former militants from Niger Delta, members of the Indigenous People of Biafra and #EndSARS protesters, among others, stressing that the unresolved enforced disappearances of several activists underscored the need for action.

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The statement was titled, ‘Nigeria: Authorities must end enforced disappearance.’

It partly read, “Scores of disappearance cases such as these remain unresolved and cast doubt on Nigerian government’s commitment to keeping its own citizens safe.

Families affected by enforced disappearance live through unimaginable torment.

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“When people vanish without a trace, with the acquiescence of the state who then denies all knowledge, it’s impossible to move on.

The cases of at least 200 people – including former militants from Niger Delta, members of IPOB, #EndSARS protesters and security suspects believed to have been subjected to unresolved enforced disappearances in Nigeria have been documented by Amnesty International – The real number is believed to be higher.

“Nigerian security forces often cite the anti-terror law that allows the authorities to hold people without charge or trial in unofficial places of detention; often without contact to the outside world in practice, clearly increase the risk of people disappearing after being detained.”

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According to the statement, Nigeria is bound by international legal obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance both of which it has acceded to – to investigate, prosecute, punish and provide remedies and reparation for the crimes of enforced disappearance.

AI said government must demonstrate zero tolerance for such crimes.

“They must take immediate action to end enforced disappearances and other serious violations, carry out independent, impartial and effective investigations, and prosecute those in the security forces suspected of responsibility in fair trials,” the statement added.

 

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