나이지라아 내 인권활동가 인권단체 ‘소셜액션(Social Action)’ 소속 활동가들이 포트하커트(Port Harcourt)시 경찰 당국에 구금되는 사건이 발생했다.
국제앰네스티는 인권 옹호자들이 어떠한 간섭이나 방해, 차별, 보복 없이 활동할 수 있도록 보장하라고 나이지리아 정부에 촉구했다.
지난 4월 5일, 환경 정의와 인권 캠페인을 담당하는 ‘소셜 액션’ 소속 활동가 이삭 아슘 오수아카(Isaac Asume Osuoka), 아크포바리 셀레스틴(AkpoBariCelestine), 켄 헨샤우(Ken Henshaw)가 사무실을 나서다가 무장한 남성들에게 붙잡혔다. 이들에게 폭력을 행사한 6명의 무장 남성들 중 경찰복을 입은 남성도 3명 있었던 것으로 전해진다.
무장한 남성들은 이들을 강제로 밴에 태워 올루 오바산조(Olu Obasanjo) 경찰서로 데려갔다. 이들 세 활동가들은 구금 사유에 대한 설명도 듣지 못했을뿐더러, 법률적 도움에 대한 요청도 거부당했다. 경찰은 이들의 동료들에게 경고 한 뒤, 같은 날 자정 즈음 세 명을 기소 없이 석방했다.
Activists assaulted and illegally detained by Nigerian police
Friday 9 April 2010
Members of human rights organization Social Action were stopped and detained earlier this month after leaving their office. Amnesty International on Friday called on the Nigerian authorities to launch immediate investigations into the assault and detention of three human rights activists by police in the city of Port Harcourt. Isaac Asume Osuoka, AkpoBari Celestine and Ken Henshaw from non-governmental organization Social Action, which campaigns for environmental justice and human rights in Nigeria, were stopped and detained by police on 5 April after leaving their office. AkpoBari Celestine said he was repeatedly hit with the butt of a gun, poked with a barrel in his arms and legs and slapped in the face, as at least six armed men, including at least three uniformed police officers, forced the activists out of their car and into a white van without asking the victims for any form of identification.
The three men were not told why they were stopped and detained but were taken to Olu Obasanjo police station in Port Harcourt. “They knew who we were,” said Isaac Asume Osuoka.
“When we were stopped they didn’t ask for our names, they didn’t ask to see a driver’s licence, they didn’t ask for any car documents.” At the police station, the activists were refused access to legal counsel. AkpoBari Celestine said he was denied medical treatment for the injuries sustained while being detained.
The activists were released without charge around midnight, after alerting friends and colleagues in the city who intervened on their behalf. “The excessive use of force and arbitrary detention suffered by these men must be fully investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice,” said Erwin van der Borght, director of Amnesty International’s Africa programme. The clinic where AkboBari Celestine sought treatment following his release later refused to give him the medical report that detailed his injuries, the activists believe staff at the clinic may have been intimidated by the police. A Medical report carried out in Austria, where the activist is holding talks about human rights in the Niger Delta, found that he sustained several bruises on his arms and legs from the beating he received from the police. “The government must ensure that human rights defenders can carry out their work without interference, obstacles, discrimination or fear of retaliation,” said Erwin van der Borght. “These activists have a right to an independent, impartial and competent review of complaints and, where violations are found to have taken place, to obtain redress.” The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) continues to commit a wide range of human rights violations with impunity, including unlawful killings, torture, other ill-treatment and enforced disappearances.