Amnesty International (AI), foremost human rights group in the world, has pledged to seek justice for all women illegally arrested and raped by personnel of the Nigeria Police Force. Amnesty also vowed that all officers involved in the inhuman act would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
Speaking with SaharaReporters on Friday, Isa Sanusi, Spokesperson of the organization in Nigeria labeled the country as a place where human rights are not respected. He said, “This is not the first time this kind of thing will happen. Two things are very clear and the most important of them all is that there is no respect for human rights in Nigeria.
“We believe that whatever the reason they have is insignificant compared to the damage by raiding women and labeling them sensitive and it can be considered gender discrimination.” Sanusi stated that AI would not stop in pursuing the matter until relevant government agencies intervene and mete out punishment to all officers indicted and involved in the act.
“We are going to continue pursuing this matter until justice is done and human rights are respected and those behind this act are brought to justice.
“We will continue to be part of it to make it clear to leaders that human rights must be respected and no one’s right will be violated without accountability,” he said.
AI Nigeria called on Adamu Mohammed, Inspector General of Police, to ensure it conducts an open and transparent investigation into the matter and certifies that the investigation fishes out all involved in the case.
“We want to give them benefit of doubt and this time around we believe they can do the right thing, which is to investigate and make sure that those responsible are brought to justice and this never happens again in Nigeria,” Sanusi said.
He continued, “As Nigerians, we know in many cases when authority says they are going to investigate a matter, that is the end and last thing you are going to hear about that matter and it is a way of dishonest closure to an issue.
“We want the government to investigate this issue and make everyone to understand why, or how and who is behind it. The investigation is very important and it must be impartial, independent and must lead to justice.”
He also tasked the government to always ensure that no woman is harassed or intimidated in the name of raiding while adding that whatever measures the government will take to secure Abuja should not be discriminatory and not be targeted at women.
A couple of weeks back, 104 women were arrested inside and around Caramelo nightclub in Abuja and detained at Utako police station. The women were charged for hanging around nightclubs and were tried before a mobile court that gave varying prison terms and fines to the women. Many of the women who were raided were raped by some rogue police officers that used ‘pure water sachets’ as a condom.
Since the arrest, the Police have been enmeshed with criticism on the legality of the arrest and abuse of sexual rights of the women.IG Adamu had promised an investigation into the matter saying, “the action by the police officers, that they were alleged to have raped and molested the women, we have set up a panel to investigate, and anybody caught or proved to have done that will face the law.”