VICTORY: You Took a Stand. Now Moses Akatugba Will Walk Free!

May 29, 2015

Over the last year, activists like you have taken more than 800,000 actions in support of Moses Akatugba, who was imprisoned in Nigeria at 16 years old, tortured, and later sentenced to death on suspicion of armed robbery — a crime he says he didn’t commit.

For months, Amnesty International activists have been campaigning on Moses’s case, including writing letters, participating in demonstrations and sending online messages on Moses’s case as part of Amnesty International’s Stop Torture Campaign and 2014 Write for Rights action.

Yesterday, Amnesty activists put renewed pressure on Emmanuel Uduaghan, the governor of Delta State, to free Moses before the governor’s term ends today. We learned yesterday afternoon that Moses was granted a full pardon.

In addition to pardoning Moses, Governor Uduaghan also commuted the death sentences of three others.

It’s truly only with the voices of activists like you that incredible victories like this can be achieved.

Moses has been imprisoned for ten long years. Last year, he told Amnesty the following:

“The pain I went through in the hands of the officers was unimaginable. In my whole life, I have never been subjected to such inhuman treatment… I sincerely hope the authorities will listen to the voice of Amnesty International. I want Amnesty International to help save my life.”

After hearing the news of a total pardon, Moses shared the following quote with Amnesty International:

“I am overwhelmed. I thank Amnesty International and their activist for the great support that made me a conqueror in this situation.

Amnesty International members and activist are my Heroes.

I want to assure them, that this great effort they have show to me will not be in vain, by the special grace of God I will live up to their expectation.

I Promise to be a Human Right Activist, to fight for others.”

You took a stand, and now, Moses will walk free. Three others will not face death sentences in Nigeria. Together, we’ve taken steps to elevate cases like Moses’s — cases that often go unresolved and uninvestigated — and are making strides to #StopTorture in Nigeria and throughout the world.

I cannot wait to see what our collective power does next.