Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Nigerian government should immediately investigate on the deaths of Shiites protesters in police custody— Amnesty Int'l

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Amnesty International, yesterday, called on the Nigerian government to immediately investigate the deaths from gunshot wounds of no fewer than  three members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, while in police custody, and provide urgent and adequate medical care to 15 others who need treatment for life-threatening gunshot wounds.

It also called for an independent and impartial inquiry into the July 22, protest especially the killing of IMN 11 protesters, Deputy Commissioner of Police Usman Umar and Channels TV reporter, Precious Owolabi, noting that “Only an independent investigation can determine those responsible for the violence and avoidable deaths that occurred and allow for prosecution of those responsible in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty.”

Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, yesterday said, “The 15 individuals, including two minors, have been held incommunicado at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, detention facility since July 22, following a government crackdown on IMN supporters protesting against their leader’s detention. The three who died, after being denied medical treatment for their injuries, are understood to have died between the date of their detention and July 24.

“We have information confirming that three protesters died of gunshot wounds at a detention facility in Abuja after being denied medical treatment. Their deaths while in police custody sends a chilling message about the authorities’ use of lethal force to stifle dissent and their contempt for peoples’ right to access medical care.

“The protesters who are being held at the SARS detention facility are in critical condition and need immediate access to medical care. Any denial of such access is a violation of their human rights. The Nigerian authorities must not allow more people to die in police custody before they act.”

“Witnesses told Amnesty International that a team of armed policemen in two Hilux vehicles arrived at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada,  about 5.30p.m., on July 22 and rounded up 11 patients with gunshot wounds, most of them IMN members who were brought to the hospital earlier in the day.”

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