Urgent Action: Activists Beaten and Jailed for Protesting (Nigeria: UA 43.21)
April 23, 2021
Activists, Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka have been unlawfully detained since April 5, 2021. They were physically assaulted and tortured by unidentified men on April 5 while peacefully protesting against corruption, and the poor human rights situation in Nigeria, and distributing posters that were perceived to be critical of the President. A few days later, they were turned over to the police and were subsequently transferred to the Nigeria Correctional Centre, located in Kogi State, in north central Nigeria, where they are currently being held. The two activists are being detained solely for peacefully exercising their right to protest and expressing their views. They must be immediately and unconditionally released.
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Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello
c/of Ministry of Information & Communications
Room 311, New State
Kogi State, Nigeria
Email: [email protected]
I am writing to express concerns about the arbitrary detention of activists Larry Emmanuel (26) and Victor Anene Udoka (33), at Nigeria Correctional Centre, in Kabba, Kogi State, Nigeria.
On April 5, 2021, the two activists were beaten and tortured by unidentified men solely for protesting, holding placards and distributing posters said to be anti-President Muhammadu Buhari in Lokoja, the capital city of Kogi State, north central Nigeria. The incident was documented in a video which went viral on Twitter. Following the incident, the activists went missing. On April 8, they were secretly arraigned at a Magistrate Court and subsequently transferred to the Nigeria Correctional Centre, where they are currently being arbitrarily detained. It is unclear what their charges were as judicial staff in Nigeria are on strike and information about their charges was not made public.
I have serious concerns about the arrest, torture and detention of Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka solely for peacefully exercising their right to protest. The right to freedom of expression is a human right and no one should ever be arrested, physically assaulted or tortured for expressing dissenting opinions.
I therefore request that Your Excellency:
Immediately and unconditionally release Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka; and
Pending their release, ensure that they are not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment and have regular and unfettered access to their family and a lawyer of their choice.