In commemoration of the United Nation’s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), in collaboration with Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), and the International Rehabilitation Council For Torture (IRCT) victims, Thursday, launched literatures in 5 different languages on Anti Torture Resource Materials and Documentary in Abuja.
Speaking virtually during the public presentation, the Executive Secretary NHRC Tony Ojukwu SAN, said the information and communication of the resource material will be of immense benefit to stakeholders in the justice sector and indeed the general public especially in understanding torture as a crime and the violation of the fundamental human rights.
“The resource material will not only provide delight to citizens but also be of help to players like the law enforcement agents, security agents and justice sector. The NHRC will like to use this opportunity, to reiterate its position that contrary to the violation of human rights as a crime under Nigerian law, as evident by section 7 & 8 of the Anti Torture Act 2017.
“No amount of an offence can justify the alleged act of torture in its form. The commission will continue to deploy its protect and work with relevant Agencies towards the establishment of rehabilitation center of the victims of torture, because torture doesn’t end in court judgement, punishment of offenders or monetary compensations.”
He further stressed the need to see ‘redress and rehabilitation’ as rights under the international law for victims of torture and not a charity. Adding that, the Commission would continue to engage relevant partners to make sure offenders are held responsible.
NHRC will seek the advice of experts on the guildlines to establish rehabilitation centres for victims of torture
In view of this, the Executive Director PRAWA Dr. Uju Agomoh, said there is need to say no to torture and as well as criminalize it. Adding that, it is not enough to sign and ratify these laws but there should be responsibility towards the realization of the goal.
Agomoh said the recommendations of the United Nations committee on Anti Torture (CAT) should be implemented and follow up to the letter.
Also speaking virtually, Secretary-General of IRCT Ms. Lisa Henry, said the organisation is committed to seeing that tortured victims are rehabilitated.
“IRCT is powered by the engagement of over 160 civil society members, who strive to make this world a better place by eradicating torture and providing holistic, health-based rehabilitation for those who have every right to that service. With over 160 member centres in 76 countries, we are the largest membership-based civil society organisation working in the field of torture rehabilitation,” she added.
Similarly, the Chairman of the occasion, Professor Tajudeen Akanji of University of Ibadan said, even beyond the provision of the Act 2017, that Nigeria’s official policy, states that all citizens privilege shall be protected from multiple corruption.
UN Day in Support of Victims of Torture, is said to be an international observance held annually on June 26 to speak out against the crimes of torture and to honour and support victims and survivors.