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Amnesty charges national assembly to pass ‘long overdue’ anti-torture bill

Amnesty charges national assembly to pass ‘long overdue’ anti-torture bill
November 28
18:41 2017
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Amnesty International has called on the national assembly to ensure the speedy passage of the anti-torture bill which has been at the national assembly since 2012.

The organisation made the call on Tuesday at a symposium and moot court competition organised in partnership with faculty of law, Base University, in Abuja.

The bill, which aims to criminalise torture and other inhuman treatments, had passed its final reading but was returned to the senate by then President Goodluck Jonathan.

Osai Ojigho, country director of AI, said passage of the bill into law will enhance the respect for human rights in the country.

She said although torture is contrary to the provisions of the 1999 constitution, security agencies and other perpetrators usually get away with it.

“In Nigeria, we have been pushing for the criminalisation of torture and we have been involving young ones in our campaigns against some of the inhuman treatments the citizens suffer sometimes,” she said.

“So it is important we understand what human rights are violated through acts of torture and how we can protect ourselves from such acts and what to do if somebody you know has been affected by torture.

“The anti-torture bill is overdue and needs to be passed into law considering it is very important to enhance respect for human rights in the country. If torture is criminalised, those perpetuating it will be punished and such will serve as a deterrent for others.

“So, we are calling on the lawmakers to ensure such progressive law is speedily passed; people are really hoping that the bill will be passed before this session of the national assembly signs off.

“What we are saying is, let the national assembly rise above these challenges because torture should not be tolerated at all under any circumstances.”

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