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Torture in local prisons condemned

13 May 2014, 21:14

Lagos - Amnesty International, the human rights group, expressed concern at the alleged prevalence of the use of torture in local prisons.

At the launch of its campaign, “Torture in 2014: 30 Years of Broken Promises”, the organization said Nigeria police and military personnel used torture as a matter of routine.

According to an Amnesty survey, 50 percent of Nigerians feared they would be at risk of torture if taken into custody while the survey nearly 73 percent of Nigerians agreed that clear rules were needed to fight against torture.

The human rights group cited the example of one Moses Akatugba who was arrested by soldiers in 2005 he was 16 years old.

He is quoted as saying he was beaten and shot in the hand.

The suspect was reportedly then transferred to the police, who hanged him by his limbs for hours at a police station.

He was reportedly tortured into signing a “confession” that he was involved in a robbery.

In November 2013, after eight years waiting for a verdict, he was sentenced to death.

Subsequently, Amnesty called on all African governments to immediately take steps to criminalize torture.

“African governments must take their international obligations to stamp out torture seriously,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for Africa.

 “Thirty years ago Amnesty International led the campaign for a worldwide commitment to combat torture, resulting in the UN’s Convention Against Torture. It is disheartening that despite ratifying this treaty only 10 African nations have criminalised torture and ill-treatment. It remains rampant across the continent.”

The organization further called on governments to implement protective mechanisms to prevent and punish torture.

– CAJ News

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