By Ogbonna Casmir, Enugu
A non-governmental organization, Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) France, an international NGO specialised in defending human rights and supporting justice has revealed that Anambra and Enugu state command of Nigerian police force has highest record of human rights abuse in Nigeria.
The organization disclosed that out of 50 cases of torture and various human rights abuses in Enugu Command of Nigerian police force, 40 cases of them had gunshot wound which they said were perpetrated by officers and men of Special Anti Robbery Squad Unit (SARS), and Anambra State had the worst record.
The Head of Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) France, Angela Uwandu who made the revelation weekend at a training workshop for judicial actors, CSOs, Security formations and NUJ with the theme: ‘Promoting the United Nations Convention Against Torture in Nigeria’ said the organization is not in way promoting or supporting criminals but their goal is for due process stipulated by our local laws, regional and international laws be followed while officials carries out their duties.
She said documentary report Amnesty International released recently about the activities of Anambra and Enugu states police SARS is alarming even when torture is prohibited by law, while recalls that countless people are also victims of inhuman and degrading treatment.
ASF country Head said human rights abuse cut across, she urged stakeholder not to regard it that victims are criminals. “These practices often arise from appalling detention conditions in many countries in a post-conflict situation or in transition. ASF is calling for a reduction in the use of detention.
Along with deliberate acts of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment constitutes a serious violation of human rights. According to the National Human Rights Commission Rapporteur, said the first thing that detainees mention is not the torture they endure while in custody or in prison, they complain of a shortage of water and food and a lack of medical treatment, even for serious illnesses. The detainees also emphasize the violence, humiliation, discrimination and exploitation that they frequently suffer from.
Delivering is his keynote address, former Chief Judge of Enugu State; Justice Innocent A. Umezulike said the theme of the workshop is apt especially at this time in our Nation when we are confronted daily in the courts and in the media with cases of torture.
Represented by Justice Ani, Umezulike said torture happens nearly everywhere. He said major reason why torture still persists is the low report rate, as most people do not speak up when they see acts of torture going on.
“We should be our brothers’ keepers and report acts of torture being committed in our neighbourhood, no matter who the perpetrator is.”