An France based Non-governmental organization, Avocats Sans FrontièresFrance (ASF France) known in Nigeria as Lawyers Without Borders has express concern that human rights violations still pervades across Nigeria.
The ASF France, in a statement to celebration of the 2019 International Day for Human Rights, however called on security agencies in Nigeria to respect fundamental human rights of Nigerians.
The statement signed by the ASF France stated that “though there have been several efforts to protect human rights, its violations still pervades, especially by security agencies.”
“Security agencies should be reminded of their invaluable role in protecting human rights by adhering to the rule of law and due process in the discharge of their duty and civil relations,” says Angela Uwandu, the Head of Office, ASF France in Nigeria.
He said respect for human rights is the foundation for sustainable development and a justified society.
“We are worried that human rights reports indicate there has been an upsurge in violations of human rights by security agencies in Nigeria with several cases of unlawful arrests, torture of detainees, prolonged detention of suspects without trial, extra-judicial killings, extortion and disregard of court orders,” she adds.
As a build-up to commemoration of the International Day for Human Rights, ASF France and its partners through its SAFE project recently held a two-week mission to Kaduna State where advocacy visits were paid on security agencies; roundtable with stakeholders took place; and the media, CSOs and security agencies were trained on human rights principles, anti-torture act and how to raise accountability for human rights abuses.
The International Day for Human Rights is an annual United Nations celebration which holds on December 10 to mark the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the UN in 1948 to proclaim inalienable rights of humans, regardless of race, religion, gender, political, nation and status etc.
This year’s celebration with the theme; “Youths Standing Up for Human Rights” also places premium on the unassailable rights and freedoms to education, decent living, health care and a right to live free from any form of discrimination, torture, ill-treatment, arbitrary detention, extra-judicial killings among others.
Avocats Sans Frontières France is currently implementing the SAFE project in Nigeria in partnership with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the Carmelite Prisoners’ Interest Organization (CAPIO) to address core human rights violations of extra-judicial killings, torture, ill treatments and arbitrary detention by security agencies in Nigeria. The SAFE project is funded by the European Union.