Socio–Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an urgent complaint to the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention over the arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment of Omoyele Sowore and four other activists for staging a new year’s eve protest in Abuja.
In the complaint, addressed to José Guevara Bermúdez, chairman/Rapporteur of the Working Group, dated, January 4, and signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation demanded “the Working Group should request the Nigerian authorities to withdraw the charges against Sowore and four other activists, and to immediately and unconditionally release them as they were merely exercising their fundamental human rights.
“The detention of Sowore and four other activists constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of their liberty because it has no legal justification and does not meet minimum international standards of due process.
“The arrest, continued detention and torture and ill-treatment of Sowore and four other activists is a flagrant violation of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and international human rights law. They are now facing bogus charges simply for exercising their human rights.”
SERAP is calling on the Working Group to “initiate a procedure involving the investigation of the detention, torture and charges against the activists, and to urgently send an allegation letter to the Nigerian government inquiring about the case generally, and specifically about the legal basis for their arrest, detention, torture and other ill-treatment, each of which is in violation of international human rights law.”