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SERAP to FG: Stop criminalising peaceful protesters,

A rights organisation, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has strongly condemned the reported violent attacks on #RevolutionNow protesters in Abuja, Osogbo and other parts of the country. It said the action of security operatives violates citizens’ rights to peaceful assembly.
In a statement signed by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation asked President Muhammadu Buhari to caution security operatives against criminalising peaceful protests, end the use of excessive force against protesters, and allow people to peacefully exercise their human rights.
SERAP berated the Buhari’s government for failing to adequately protect protesters from violent attacks saying it had abdicated its responsibity under the Constitution, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.
The organisation argued that rather than suppressing peaceful protests, the authorities ought to protect peaceful protesters and ensure a safe and enabling environment for people to exercise their constitutionally and internationally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
“Nobody should be arrested or subjected to torture and ill-treatment simply for taking part in peaceful protests. The authorities should stop criminalising peaceful protesters.
“SERAP urges the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those arrested, promptly investigate attacks on protesters and identify security agents suspected to be responsible and bring them to justice.
“Nigerian authorities need to take seriously the protesters’ socio-economic grievances, including by immediately taking measures to genuinely fight grand corruption and improve access of Nigerians to basic public goods and services.
“SERAP urges the international community including the UN Human Rights Council, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the African Union and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to publicly condemn attacks on peaceful protests and to put pressure on the Nigerian authorities to effectively investigate attacks on protesters, prosecute perpetrators and to respect and protect the human rights of everyone.”

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