Ministry of Justice, NHRC Collaborate to End Torture by Security Operatives

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The Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission, (NHRC) on Tuesday in Abuja staged a walk to raise awareness against the use of torture by security operatives.

Speaking at a news  conference after the walk, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN), said that effort needed to be intensified to reform the institutional and legal framework of the criminal justice system.

He also noted that Nigeria was a state party to a range of international human rights instruments expressly prohibiting torture and ill treatment of suspects.

“Instruments such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment among others.”

Also speaking, Mr Tony Ojukwu, the Executive Secretary of the commission said there was a local report by Network of Police Reform in Nigeria that torture was formally institutionalised in police detention centres with torture facilities referred to as “torture chambers”.

According to Ojukwu, this makes security personnel appropriate target for anti-torture training and capacity building on the anti-torture act.

Also speaking, Mr Sani Ameh, Chairman, National Committee Against Torture, said that the mandate of the committee, which was inaugurated in 2009 was to visit all detention centres to ascertain allegations of torture.

“The committee is to also ensure that education and information regarding the prohibition against torture is fully included in the training of law enforcement personnel.

“This is with particular regards to those who may be involved in the custody, interrogation or treatment of individuals in detention or prison.”

The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that the UN International Day in support of Victims of Torture is commemorated on June 26 every year to raise awareness on the ills of torture.(NAN)

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