Lagos – A human rights group has urged
authorities to uphold rights of protesters during likely pro-Biafra
demonstrations to be held on Friday.
The day will mark a year to the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu,
leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
Supporters of Nnamdi Kanu, who previously lived in the
United Kingdom and spread his message through the UK-based Radio Biafra, are
likely to mark the anniversary of his arrest with protests.
Human Rights Watch urged authorities to rather than
invoking the heavy-handed tactics they have used on pro-Biafra protesters in
the past, to protect their right to peaceful protest.
IPOB is a group from Nigeria’s southeastern region that
seeks to establish an independent state.
Also read: IPOB accuses DSS of deceit over charges against Kanu
Kanu, along with co-defendants Benjamin Madubugwu and
David Nwawuisi, were charged with "criminal conspiracy, engaging in
unlawful society and criminal intimidation."
An order for Kanu’s release on bail by a federal high
court in Abuja was countered by another judge when fresh charges of treason
were filed against Kanu and the other defendants on December 18, 2015.
The trio remains in detention pending the conclusion of
More than 40 years ago, at least 1 million people died in
a three-year civil war when Nigeria’s government fought against pro-Biafran
separatists who had declared an independent republic.
Kanu’s court appearances have meanwhile sparked
several largely peaceful protests by supporters in various southeast and Niger
Delta towns, which have been met with aggression by security forces, including
- CAJ News