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NHRC urges organisers of Ashura procession to be mindful of Citizens’ Rights

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has urged the organisers of Ashura procession to be mindful of human Rights of the citizens. This note of caution became important after the commission received complaint from the Academic Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (AFIMN) alleging plot by the police to attack their members during their scheduled procession on Tuesday 10th September 2019.

The Commission expresses concern over the proposed Ashura Procession and the alleged threat by the police not to allow the procession in view of the tension already existing between the religious group (IMN) and security operatives.

It is on record that the last procession by the religious group resulted to clashes that led to the unfortunate loss of lives and destruction of properties. The Commission cautions both the police and the members of the Islamic Group to ensure that they operate within the provisions of the law and not to do anything that will lead to further human rights violations in the country.

While freedom of movement is a fundamental right, such right must be exercised within the ambit of the law and no right should be exercised to violate the right of others or escalate the already tense situation generated by the proposed procession.

The law enforcement agents are reminded of their duty to provide security and protect human rights during peaceful procession and refrain from any acts of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment during such procession.

Members of the public who wish to embark on any procession must be peaceful and orderly and must not infringe on the right of freedom of movement of other road users to avoid any situation that can lead to further violation of human rights.

The Commission will not hesitate to hold accountable any law enforcement agent or religious group that indulges in acts that lead to violation of human rights during the proposed procession.

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