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Nigerian government uses enforced disappearance to silence critics- Amnesty International
THE Amnesty International (AI) has accused the Federal Government of using enforced disappearance as ‘a longstanding tactic to silence critics and instill fear in civilian populations.’
While reiterating that the government has been behind ‘enforced disappearance of thousands of Nigerians since 2015, Amnesty International said Nigerians are now facing double threats of armed groups, including Boko Haram and military operations against them.
The international human rights organization in a series of Twitter messages on Thursday to mark this year International Day of Enforced Disappearance, said Nigerian government must immediately release thousands of people who have been subjected to enforced disappearance and held in secret detention facilities across the country without charge or trial.
“We call on the Nigerian government, as a matter of urgency, to end unlawful arrests and incommunicado detentions. Enforced disappearance is an instrument of intimidation that grossly violates human rights. It is unacceptable and must stop,” it said.
We call on the Nigerian government, as a matter of urgency, to end unlawful arrests and incommunicado detentions. Enforced disappearance is an instrument of intimidation that grossly violates human rights. It is unacceptable and must stop. #InternationalDayoftheDisappeared
— Amnesty Int. Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) August 30, 2018
The Amnesty International further stated that ‘so many families are still searching for loved ones who have not been seen for many years, noting that, ‘in some cases, families live with the pain of not knowing whether their loved ones are alive or dead.’
“Some detainees have been held incommunicado for up to nine years or more, without access to family or lawyers. Others received court judgements ordering their release from custody, but security agencies have continued to defy these court orders.”
It further alleged that hundreds of people suspected of belonging to or being associated with BokoHaram and/or its affiliates, the Niger Delta agitators or pro-Biafra activists in the southeast of the country, have been arbitrarily arrested and unlawfully detained by DSS in recent years
“According to figures provided by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), the whereabouts or fate of at least 600 of their members has been unknown since clashes with the military in December 2015 in Zaria, Kaduna state. More than 350 people are believed to have been unlawfully.
“Across parts of northeast affected by BokoHaram conflict thousands of detainees have been subjected to enforced disappearance, placing them outside the protection of law. Families of those affected have been left without knowing the fate of their loved ones.”