Police make mockery of anti-torture law-Amnesty International | Dailytrust

Police make mockery of anti-torture law-Amnesty International

Amnesty International yesterday alleged that the horrific reign of impunity by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force made mockery of anti-torture law.

In a new report, Time to End Impunity, AI said it had documented at least eighty two cases of torture, ill treatment and extra-judicial execution by SARS between January 2017 and May 2020.

It said the victims of the police unit, set up to fight violent crimes, were predominantly male between the ages of 18 and 35, from low-income backgrounds and vulnerable groups.

It alleged that the Nigerian authorities had failed to prosecute a single officer from SARS despite anti-torture legislation passed in 2017 and evidence that its members continued to use torture and other ill-treatment to execute, punish and extract information from suspects.

The report quoted Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, to have said: “The complete failure of Nigerian authorities to bring an end to the gross human rights violations perpetuated by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad or to bring any SARS officer to justice is shocking and unacceptable.

“Nigerians are outraged by the systemic human rights violations perpetrated by the SARS with impunity.

“The systemic use of torture and other ill treatment by SARS officers for police investigations and the continued existence of torture chambers within the Nigerian Police Force points to an absolute disregard for international human rights laws and standards.”

The report said the Amnesty International’s investigation revealed a disturbing pattern of abuse of detainees in SARS custody despite the 2017 Anti-Torture Act.

The spokesman of the Nigeria Police Force, Frank Mba, did not respond to enquiries from Daily Trust as of the time of filing this report.


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