The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has strongly condemned the violent attacks on #RevolutionNow protesters in Abuja, Osogbo and other parts of the country, saying the President Muhammadu Buhari government must end the use of excessive force against protesters and allow people to peacefully exercise their human rights.
The Department of State Services (DSS), yesterday, arrested Olawale Bakare and six other #RevolutionNow protesters wearing orange caps around Olaiya area of Osogbo, the Osun State capital. Several protesters were also arrested by the police and the army in Abuja.
The Deputy Director of SERAP, Kolawole Oluwadare, said by failing to adequately protect protesters from violent attacks, Nigerian authorities had blatantly violated their obligations under the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights; to which Nigeria was a party.
Oluwadare said, “Nobody should be arrested or subjected to torture and ill-treatment simply for taking part in peaceful protests. The authorities should stop criminalising peaceful protesters.
“Rather than suppressing peaceful protests, the authorities ought to protect peaceful protesters and ensure a safe and enabling environment for people to exercise their constitutionally and internationally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”
SERAP further urged the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those arrested, promptly investigate attacks on protesters and identify security agents suspected to be responsible and bring them to justice.