31 August 2017

Nigeria: Hundreds of Nigerians Forcibly Disappeared to Instil Fear, Says Amnesty International

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(file photo).

Abuja — As the world marked the International Day of the Disappeared yesterday, the Amnesty International (AI) has said that enforced disappearances are being used to instil fear into civilian population living in areas of the country wracked with conflict and insecurity

The organisation, which feared that hundreds of people were being held in secret detention - a conduct prohibited under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, to which Nigeria is a state party, called on the government to release details on the fate and whereabouts of all those who have disappeared.

It also urged the Nigerian authorities to investigate all cases of enforced disappearances and bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility to justice in fair trials.

It also implored the government to provide full reparation to victims and their families, including compensation, rehabilitation, restitution, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition.

Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, said: "Many families of the victims of enforced disappearance spend painful years searching for justice, truth and reparation but are ignored or misled about the fate of their relatives.."

According to figures provided by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), at least 600 of their members' whereabouts are not known since the clashes with the military in December 2015 in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Also, Malama Zainab Isa said that her husband, Abdullahi Abbas and their six children's whereabouts or fate are not known since the night of December 14, 2015 following the clashes in Zaria.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has said that it does not have any secret detention in all its police stations nationwide.

The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Jimoh Moshood, who spoke with The Guardian in Abuja yesterday, said if the report by AI was referring to the police, it is false because we have nothing like that in our stations across the 36 states, including Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

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