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Press Release — New HRF Submission to UN Urges Action on Torture in Nigeria

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HRF criticized the Nigerian regime for failing to improve human rights conditions since the country’s review in 2013.

NEW YORK (April 6, 2018) — On March 29, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) submitted a brief for the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to consider during its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the human rights situation in Nigeria.

In the submission, HRF criticized the Nigerian regime for failing to improve human rights conditions since the country’s last review in 2013. The report highlights cases of torture, extrajudicial killings, and other human rights violations being carried out by security forces and the police.

“Nigerian police officers frequently torture detainees to extract confessions and extort criminal suspects. In 2016, at least 270 civilians died in detention or were killed at nonviolent gatherings by government forces,” said HRF President Thor Halvorssen. “The U.N. Human Rights Council has consistently failed to hold authoritarians accountable for their gross violations of human rights. I hope they will take this opportunity to right the course by pressing Nigeria’s government to answer for its abuses and its insufficient effort to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice.”

HRF considers Nigeria to be a competitive authoritarian regime; although the country has a multiparty system of governance in place, intimidation and the disruption of the voting process in certain regions prevent the opposition from competing on a level playing field.

HRF’s submission calls on the government of Nigeria to conduct thorough investigations and prosecute the security officials and police officers involved in committing acts of torture and carrying out extrajudicial killings. HRF also urged the Nigerian government to ensure the effective implementation of the newly enacted Anti-Torture Act (2017), and to ratify the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Criminal Court and the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on Individual Complaints.

The UPR is a mechanism of the UNHRC established to periodically examine the human rights performance of all U.N. member states.The UPR is the first international human rights mechanism to address all countries and all human rights. Its main goals are the improvement of the human rights situation on the ground and the fulfillment of member states’ human rights obligations and commitments.

Read the full submission for Nigeria here.

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.

For press inquiries, contact media@hrf.org.

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