The National Human Rights Commission has warned that the enforcement of Covid-19 lockdown directives must be carried out without torture, inhuman and degrading treatment of Nigerians.

The commission called on law enforcement agencies across the country to ensure that they carried out their duties without undue violation of the rights of Nigerians.

The NHRC in a statement by its Executive Secretary, Mr Tony Ojukwu, stressed that any act of torture, cruel inhuman and other degrading treatments should not be employed in enforcing compliance, adding that any arrest connected to the implementation of the Covid-19 lockdown directives must be treated in accordance with national and international best practices. 

Ojukwu said, “For the purposes of clarity, Article 2 of the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading or Punishment which Nigeria is a signatory, states that “each state party shall take effective, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.

“No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war, a threat of war, international political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”

The NHRC explained that it was imperative to note that an order from a superior officer or public authority cannot provide an excuse for any security personnel to perpetuate acts of torture or cruel treatment against innocent citizens.

The commission commended the efforts of the various health workers, who have exhibited professional and patriotic zeal to contain the virus and ensure the safety of all Nigerians.

 

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