Accountability For Human Rights Violations Remains Elusive, Says Amnesty
Global human rights organisation, Amnesty International, has raised concern over the inability of the Nigerian government to hold those involved in human rights violation accountable.
In a statement by the Media Manager of Amnesty International Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, the group decried what it described as pervasive violence against women.
According to the statement, these include purported rape of women and girls at various Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camps, as well as sexual violence against female detainees by security operatives, sometimes in order to extract confessions.
The group said it was worried that the violations have continued, despite the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act by the National Assembly in 2015.
“While welcoming Nigeria’s acceptance of recommendations to intensify efforts to combat gender-based violence, the organisation urges the government to ensure that victims throughout the Federation can seek legal redress for gender-based violations, in line with the provisions of the VAPP,” it said.
“Since the beginning of the armed conflict in northeast Nigeria in 2009, Amnesty International has documented war crimes and other human rights abuses by Boko Haram and serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by the security forces, including arbitrary arrests, torture, enforced disappearances, unlawful killings and extrajudicial executions,” it stated further.
It, however, frowned on the lack of accountability for crimes committed by Boko Haram, as well as by government forces in the fight against the insurgents, and called on the government to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to justice in fair trials.
The organisation noted that several states had called on the Federal Government to strengthen the protection of the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.
In order to promote these rights, it disclosed that it recently launched a campaign on freedom of expression in Nigeria.
Amnesty International explained that this was a platform to call on the government to ensure that journalists and other media professionals could operate without fear of arrests or other reprisals.
Noting that the Human Rights Council has adopted a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) outcome on Nigeria, the group commended the nation’s cooperation with the review process and its positive response to some of the recommendations made by other states in the UPR Working Group.