Arbitrary killings, unlawful detention reign in Nigeria – US


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The United States 2020 Human Rights report says Nigeria recorded high human rights abuses in the year which included unlawful detention, arbitrary killings by both government and non-state actors; forced disappearances by the government, terrorists, and criminal groups.

The report also stated the abuses like torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by the government and terrorist groups; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary detention by government and non-state actors; political prisoners

It stated that the Nigeria police, army and other security services often deploy force to disperse protesters and apprehend criminals and suspects, adding that the police engage in crowd-control using nonlethal tactics, such as firing tear gas, before escalating their use of force.

“There were reports that the government or its agents committed arbitrary, unlawful, or extrajudicial killings. At times authorities sought to investigate, and when found culpable, held police, military, or other security force personnel accountable for the use of excessive or deadly force or for the deaths of persons in custody, but impunity in such cases remain a significant problem.

Read Also: Foodstuff, cattle dealers union demands compensation over member killings, threaten strike

“State and federal panels of inquiry investigating suspicious deaths did not always make their findings public”, part of the report stated.

The report further disclosed that Nigeria has a problem with the independence of the judiciary and that there were arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy, serious abuses in an internal conflict, including killing and torture of civilians; serious restrictions on free expression, the press, and the internet, including the existence of criminal libel laws.

The report revealed that though Nigeria’s government had taken some steps to investigate alleged abuses by police, including the Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) and military forces, impunity remain a significant problem.

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