International rights group, Human Rights Watch, has called on the Nigerian Government to ban the degrading chaining of people across the country battling various mental health conditions.

HRW in a report, said thousands of people with mental health conditions across Nigeria were chained and locked up in various facilities where they faced terrible abuses.

The group said chaining happens in many settings such as state hospitals, rehabilitation centers, traditional healing centers, and both Christian and Islamic faith-based facilities.

Emina Ćerimović, Senior Disability Rights Researcher at Human Rights Watch, said, “People with mental health conditions should be supported and provided with effective services in their communities, not chained and abused."

HRW in its report called on President Muhammadu Buhari to keep to his word that he would not “tolerate the existence of the torture chambers and physical abuses of inmates in the name of rehabilitation”. 

It added that the government has yet to acknowledge that this abuse is rife in government-run facilities too.

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