By Dapo Akinrefon
THE Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has called on the United Nations to compel the Federal Government to desist from further intimidation of the #BringBackOurGirls, BBOG, group, saying it violates the rights of members to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
In a statement by its Senior Staff Counsel, Mr Timothy Adewale, SERAP called on UN’s Special Rapporteur, Mr Maina Kiai to wade into the harassment of the BBOG group by the government.
The statement read: “No Nigerian law makes it a crime to demonstrate in any part of the country. Harassing the BBOG group and stopping its members from proceeding peacefully to the seat of government is overkill.
“It is the primary duty of the President Muhammadu Buhari government to protect all demonstrators, including the BBOG group and enable lawful demonstrations to proceed peacefully.
“SERAP considers restrictions placed on the BBOG group to peaceful assemble by law enforcement agencies as unjustified in law, and in bad faith.
“SERAP is seriously concerned about the continuing disproportionate restriction on the right of members of the BBOG group to protest. All Nigerians including members of the BBOG group have the rights to freedom of expression and to protest.” There is absolutely no reason to view these members as anything other than committed peaceful demonstrators.”