11/25/2019

Urgent Action: Human Rights Defenders Must Be Released (Nigeria: UA 164.19)


Nigerian authorities have continued to detain human rights defenders Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare at the Department of State Services in Abuja, and Agba Jalingo in Calabar prison, southern Nigeria, since their arrests in August. They are facing trumped-up charges of treason because they demanded government accountability. The maximum penalty for the offense of treason is the death penalty. They must be released immediately and unconditionally.

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Muhammadu Buhari
Nigerian Presidential Complex
Aso Rock Presidential Villa
Federal Capital Territory
Abuja
Nigeria
Ambassador Sylvanus Adiewere Nsofor
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
3519 International Court, NW Washington, DC 20008
Tel: 202 800 7201 I Fax: 202 775 1385
Email: [email protected]  [email protected]
Contact Form: https://bit.ly/2N9Hp6f
Twitter: @NigerianEmbassy
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Mr. Buhari,

I write to express my concern for human rights defenders Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare, who are currently detained by Nigerian authorities in the Department of State Security Service, and Agba Jalingo, who is detained in Calabar Prison.

On 3 August 2019, armed officials from Nigeria’s Department of Security Services arrested Omoyele Sowore, a human rights activist and publisher for the online news agency Sahara Reporters, for planning a protest, tagged #RevolutionNow, to demand good governance in Nigeria.

On 30 September 2019, Sowore was arraigned in court alongside Olawale Bakare, a 21-year-old student arrested during a #RevolutionNow protest in Osun state on 5 August 2019. Nigerian authorities have continued to disregard a court order for the release of Sowore and Olawale, even after their bail conditions had been fulfilled.

On 22 August 2019, police officials arrested Agba Jalingo, a journalist with CrossRiverWatch news website, for publishing an article in which he demanded the Cross River State government be accountable for NGN500 million naira (equivalent to 1.4 million USD) approved and released for the floating of the Cross River Microfinance bank. Agba spent 33 days in police custody without trial or access to his lawyer and family. He was thereafter charged with committing acts of treason, treasonable felony, publishing false information and instigating terrorism.

I urge you to ensure that Omoyele Sowore, Olawale Bakare and Agba Jalingo are released immediately and unconditionally, with all charges against them dropped. I also urge you to ensure that they are protected from torture and other forms of ill-treatment while in detention.

Yours sincerely,

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