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February 16, 2024

Drop cybercrime charges against Sowore — Amnesty International tells Nigeria Police

Drop cybercrime charges against Sowore — Amnesty International tells Nigeria Police

Global human rights organization Amnesty International, has asked Nigerian Police to drop cybercrime charges against the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), , Omoyele Sowore.

The Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, made this call in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday.

The organization, however, welcomed the decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to withdraw treason charges against Sowore.

It called on the Federal Government to “immediately drop the unfounded cybercrime and unlawful assembly charges against him filed by the police.”

Recall that Sowore was arrested by Nigeria’s intelligence agency, the Department of State Services (DSS) on August 3, 2019 for calling for protests on the socio-economic condition of the people. 

Amnesty International in 2019 declared Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare prisoners of conscience, as they have faced arbitrary detention and unfair trials solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression. 

Sanusi said, “Amnesty International today (Thursday) welcomes the withdrawal by the Nigerian authorities of bogus treason charges against activist Omoyele Sowore and urges the authorities to immediately drop all other fabricated charges against him.

“Omoyele Sowore should never have been charged in the first place. Nigerian authorities must immediately drop the unfounded cybercrime and unlawful assembly charges against him filed by the police.

“Authorities must allow Sowore and other activists and journalists to freely carry out their activities without any harassment, intimidation and fear of reprisals.

“The unfair prosecution of Sowore is part of restriction of civic space and escalating crackdown on human rights in Nigeria.

“The Nigerian authorities must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the human rights of everyone in the country including the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, association and media freedom.”