COVID-19 Lockdown: Avocats Sans Frontières Calls for Prosecution of Security Agents Involved in Brutality, Extra Judicial Killings
By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna
Avocats Sans Frontières France/Lawyers Without Borders France (ASF France) on Tuesday urged the Nigeria Government to persecute security agents involved in brutality and extra judicial killings of civilians in the course of enforcing lockdown during COVID-19 outbreak across various states in the country.
Angela Uwandu, ASF France Head of Office in Nigeria, made the call in a statement made available to Journalists in Kaduna, condemning the action and calling for prosecution of the perpetrators.
ASF France sees the action of security agents as reported by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of having killed 18 citizens in the first 14 days of the enforcement of lockdown regulations on the COVID-19 pandemic as totally unacceptable and a direct disregard of their role as protectors of the society. A figure that has since risen in the past few days.
“ASF France while reiterating its earlier call on security agencies to exercise decorum and respect human rights in the discharge of their duty in maintaining law and order while enforcing the lockdown says the brutality and extra judicial killings carried out by security agents in this context is a violation of international human rights.
“It is disheartening that the brutality of security agencies in the course of enforcing the COVID-19 lockdown has resulted to more deaths than the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We condemn the flagrant abuse and excessive use of force by security agencies during enforcement of the lockdown leading to several human rights abuses by security agencies such as alleged 33 incidents of torture, 27 incidents of violation of right to freedom of movement, and unlawful arrests, 19 incidents of seizure of properties and 13 incidents of extortion,” said Uwandu.
According to her, “the impunity and spate of abuse shows the disregard by security agencies of human rights while dealing with citizens and on that note, we at ASF France remain committed to assisting victims of human rights abuses and their families seek justice”.
ASF France urges the general public to call its hotline: +234 701 061 9353 to report cases of human rights violations by security agencies during this lockdown. We can also be reached by email on: firstname.lastname@example.org. ASF France is active in Edo, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna and Lagos states.
The SAFE and ProCAT projects are funded by the European Union, Agence Française de développement and the UN Voluntary Funds for Victims of Torture respectively to address core Human Rights violations by security agencies in Nigeria.