Nigeria: Time to end contempt for human rights

Report
November 5, 1996

Nigeria: Time to end contempt for human rights

* Ensure that military, security and police transfers of equipment, technology, training and personnel do not contribute to human rights violations in Nigeria

Amnesty International calls upon individual governments and key intergovernmental organizations to take all possible steps to ensure that military, security and police transfers of equipment, technology, training and personnel which can reasonably be assumed to contribute to human rights violations do not take place. The transfer of security equipment for use in Nigerian prisons should also be prohibited unless it can be demonstrated that such equipment will not be used to commit human rights violations. Governments should publish full details of any export licences for weapons and "non-lethal" equipment to Nigeria which have been granted over the past five years in response to applications from companies or any other party. Governments should also take steps to investigate what financial and logistical support exists in their countries for military, security and police transfers to Nigeria, for example, by investigating overseas bank accounts of the Nigerian military and police authorities.

Amnesty International calls upon transnational companies involved in Nigeria to take all necessary steps to ensure that any weaponry or other security equipment imported for use by the Nigerian police in guarding their property and personnel is not used to violate human rights. "Rules of engagement" should be developed to ensure that the Nigerian police and military do not violate international human rights standards with regard to the use of force and firearms in the protection of their property and personnel. These "rules of engagement" should be made public.

Transnational companies should consider promoting practical training measures to address the particular problem of the poor human rights record of Nigerian law enforcement officials. They should encourage the Nigerian government to improve and extend training programs, based on international standards, for these officials. Transnational companies should at the very least ensure that those who guard their property and personnel have undertaken training programs which are in line with international standards.
 

*Support those working to defend human rights in Nigeria

Amnesty International calls upon the international community to work for the release of all human rights activists who are currently being detained without charge or trial or who have been convicted on politically-motivated charges after grossly unfair trials. Governments, key intergovernmental organizations and transnational companies with significant investments in Nigeria should also do all they can to give moral and material assistance to Nigerian human rights non-governmental organizations, including support for human rights monitoring, education and training initiatives.