SERAP on Thursday said it had petitioned the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva over the way police authorities clamped down on #RevolutionNow protesters on Monday.
The organisation asked the council to immediately convene a special session to probe Sowore’s arrest and repression of the protesters, including journalists who covered the protest. It described the order as repressive.
SERAP’s position was contained in an open letter to the council dated August 8 and signed by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare.
“There are serious violations of the rights of Nigerians to liberty, personal security, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, association, and media freedom and a special session is urgently needed to help stem the attack on human rights and contribute to UN efforts to prevent further abuses, including arbitrary detention and excessive use of force,” it said.
SERAP said rights situation in Nigeria had deteriorated drastically as the federal and state governments refused to obey court orders.
It said, “We urge your delegation to actively support the holding of a special session of the Human Rights Council without delay and the adoption of a resolution that ensures meaningful attention to the situation with a view to stemming the abuses and ending impunity.
“The Human Rights Council cannot ignore persistent attacks on human rights and disregard for the rule of law in Nigeria.
“If the Human Rights Council does not assume its responsibility and give voice to the victims, it would exacerbate the impunity of perpetrators and continue to fuel further abuses.”
SERAP also called on the council to ask Nigerian authorities to release unconditionally Sowore and all those detained in connection with the #RevolutionNow protests.
It further asked the council to demand that Nigerian authorities cooperate with the UN Special Rapporteurs, by allowing them free access to the country to investigate all allegations of human rights violations against protesters, journalists, bloggers, and other Nigerians.
It added, “The authorities have arbitrarily arrested Omoyele Sowore, the organiser of the #RevolutionNow protests and publisher of the online newspaper SaharaReporters.
“He is still currently detained by the Department of State Services. Several protesters and journalists continue to be targeted, including a former Politics Editor with Daily Trust, Ibrahim Dan-Halilu, who has been reportedly re-arrested.