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HUMAN RIGHTS AGENDA NETWORK CALLS OUT AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ON WOMEN AND GIRLS IN NIGERIA IN ADVANCEMENT OF THE #16DAYSOFACTIVISIM ON ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.

December 2 2017.

Human Rights Agenda Network joins the rest of the world to advance for the elimination of violence against women with the theme: Leave no one behind: End violence against women and girls.

On this 8th day of #16daysofactivism, HRAN devotes attention to ‘domestic violence’. Domestic violence is a major violation of rights of women in Nigeria and across the world. Most perpetrators are never punished as millions of women and girls suffer death or disability from violence on then by spouses, intimate partners, or family members. HRAN calls on Nigerian governments at federal and state levels to advance efforts towards its eradication.

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that involves violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation. In Nigeria, the occurrence of domestic violence is often linked to the cultural belief that is socially right to hit a woman to discipline her. This form of violence has been on the increase with no hope of lessening given the very low reportage in Nigeria. Domestic violence has multiplier effects on the victim ranging from mental, health, physical and psychological and it is evident that more than two thirds of women and girls are victims of this form of violence. In a small scale study conducted in Lagos and Oyo states, it revealed that nearly 65% of educated women have been beaten by their husbands while 56% percent of low income market women have experienced similar violence. Domestic violence is a serious violation of human rights which the Nigerian constitution is against. Despite the legal framework in Nigeria that takes special stand on elimination of violence against persons especially women and children such as the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015, and other provisions in Criminal and Penal Codes, this form has failed to receive full legal support as victims prefer to remain silent than leave and face societal ridicule.

The Human Rights Agenda Network therefore calls on NGOs, relevant government agencies, the security operatives, the courts and members of the public to rise up against this form of violence and desist from seeing domestic violence as a private and matrimonial affair but rather as an offence against the state.

The HRAN pledges its support to the Nigerian society and urges the government and NGOs to put more efforts on promotion of women’s rights and protection of victims of domestic violence.

 

Human Rights Agenda Network Urges Nigerian Government and Stakeholders on Eradication of Female Genital Mutilation.

December 3 2017.

On this 9th day of the #16daysactivism on elimination of violence against women, HRAN devotes attention to female genital mutilation/cutting.

 

Female genital mutilation is the ritual cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. The practice is rooted in gender inequality which attempts to control women’s sexuality, and ideas about purity, modesty and beauty.

 

Genital Mutilation is a major violation of women and rights of women in Nigeria and across the world. Despite the laws that advance the cause for eradication of this form of violence against women such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), as well as several domestic statutes, this practice has continued to be on the increase given the deliberate silence by the government, groups and prominent individuals in the society. Most perpetrators are never punished as they are often shielded in most areas by the norms, beliefs, cultures, and systems that encourage this form of violence.

 

HRAN calls on Nigerian governments at federal and state levels, human rights activists, NGOs, and the media to put in more concerted efforts towards the eradication of this form of violence against women through the adoption and implementation of stricter laws like the Violence against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 that would prosecute perpetrators and create public awareness and sensitization aimed at addressing the health implications of this practice on women and girls.

 

 

Human Rights Watch condemns summary executions in eastern Libya

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Human Rights Watch condemned a series of summary executions of dozens of people in areas of eastern Libya under the control of controversial strongman Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
The New York-based watchdog called on Haftar’s Libyan National Army to make good on a promise to investigate the latest killings and to hand over a suspect wanted by the International Criminal Court in connection with previous executions.
Police discovered the bodies of 36 men, all of them executed, near Al-Abyar, 50 kilometers east of Libya’s second city Benghazi, on October 26.
Two days later, Haftar ordered the military prosecutor to investigate but no findings have been announced and no suspects have been detained.
“The LNA’s pledges to conduct inquiries into repeated unlawful killings in areas under their control in eastern Libya have so far led nowhere,” said HRW’s deputy Middle East and North Africa director, Eric Goldstein.
“The LNA will be condoning apparent war crimes if their pledge to investigate the gruesome discovery in Al-Abyar proves to be another empty promise,” he added.
A local security official said at the time that the bodies found in Al-Abyar belonged to suspected jihadists, 19 of them foreigners.
Human Rights Watch said it had reviewed multiple lists containing a total of 25 names of men found at Al-Abyar, but could not verify which were civilians and which, if any, were fighters affiliated with forces opposing the LNA.
However, it cited relatives of six of the dead as saying that they were civilians who had been taken from their homes by armed men in front of family members.
The Al-Abyar killings were the latest in a series of summary executions in areas of eastern Libya under Haftar’s control over the past two years.
In August, ICC judges issued an arrest warrant for Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf Al-Werfalli, a commander of the Benghazi-based Al-Saiqa brigade, on suspicion of involvement in war crimes including executions of 33 people.
Werfalli is accused of having ordered or personally carried out seven executions between March and July this year and in June 2016 that were filmed and posted to social media sites.
The LNA has said Werfalli is already in custody and will be tried by a military tribunal.
Libya has been wracked by lawlessness ever since the NATO-backed overthrow of longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
It has two rival administrations — a UN-backed government based in the capital Tripoli and a rival one backed by Hafar in the east.

Source: http://www.arabnews.com/node/1201091/middle-east

Gender violence: Actionaid trains traditional rulers, others in Borno

As part of her deliberate efforts to reduce sexual gender based violence (GBV) among the vulnerable in liberated areas and other parts of Borno Satate, Actionaid Nigeria has embarked on training of traditional rulers and other stakeholders to create awareness against menace.

Against the backdrop of the training, participants under the tutelage of Actionaid have agreed to establish a network comprising of traditional rulers, security agencies, health personale, members of CSOs working on GBV, media, legal aid council, the judiciary etc for better coordination and coverage of GBV activities in the state.

The training which was conducted at Command Guest House Maiduguri had participants drawn from four local Governments of Kala-Bage, Kaga, Gwoza and Bama Local Government Areas of Borno State.

Actionaid had earlier trained about forty psycho-social support counselors who have already commenced psycho-social counseling services to the displaced people in liberated communities from the four local government councils.

Briefing journalists on the whole concept of the project after the training workshop, the Program Manager Health Actionaid Nigeria, Ms Marryann Obadike explained the project is fashioned towards Strengthening Sexual and Reproductive Health service provision in conflict affected communities in Northeast Borno state Nigeria (STRESPCIN) ,  a partnership agreement between ActionAid Nigeria and the United Nations for Population Fund (UNFPA).

She added that, “the goal of the project is to reduce excessive maternal mortality and morbidity in the targeted states and the output of the project is to increase national capacity to provide sexual and reproductive health services in humanitarian settings

“ActionAid Nigeria is expected to scale up care and support services that will contribute towards the reduction of maternal mortality and morbidity in this conflict affected states through the provision of Integrated Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) interventions and Sexual and Reproductive Health services based on the Minimum Initial Service Package for Reproductive Health in humanitarian settings (MISP).

“The project seeks to improve the provision of SGBV prevention and response and Reproductive Health services including psychosocial support in humanitarian settings in these affected areas. The project also plans towards increased awareness and knowledge of communities on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) issues, SGBV prevention and response services that are gender-responsive and meet human rights standards for quality of care and equity in access,”she said.

While speaking on the strategies to achieving the overall goal of the project, Ms Obadike said; “The project has as its strategies; Capacity Building, Systems Strengthening, Awareness Creation, Community Engagement, Promoting Integrated Partnership, Granting and Knowledge Management. Each of these strategies have a number of activities to be carried out that will all eventually lead towards the attainment of the projects overall goal.

“Part of the ongoing activities under the Systems Strengthening component, is the training of psychosocial support counselors (PSS) on prevention and response to GBV,” she explained.

Both the Zanna of Gwoza, Wali Ibrahim Abu and the District Head of Rann ,  Kala-Bage Local Government , Babagana Shettima  told our correspondent that the training has added to their knowledge on how to deal with the Sexual Gender Based Violence which they admitted are prevalent in their communities.

Both were in agreement to ensure that cases of SGBV are no longer covered or hidden in their domains, pledging that whoever commits such offence would be exposed and handed over to the appropriate quarters not minding how highly placed such a person maybe in the community.

Both traditional rulers promised to step up their campaigns against SGBV by creating more awareness in their localities.

Source: http://thenationonlineng.net/gender-violence-actionaid-trains-traditional-rulers-others-borno/

WARDC Tasks Government On Gender-Based Violence

The Federal Government has been advised to urgently create more institutions that can address the root causes of gender-based violence, the impunity that often goes with the scourge, implement policies and enact laws that can support victims and survivors.

According to the Founding Director, Women Advocates Research & Documentation Centre, WARDC, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, who made this appeal in commemoration of this year’s global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, curtailing gender-based violence is crucial to national growth.

Dr. Akiyode-Afolabi said: “Gender-based violence is hindering national productivity as it is occurring amongst people in the productive age group, who have to deal with its physical and psychological consequences.

“This year alone, WARDC received and responded to about 2,151 cases of gender-based violence, including rape, acid attacks, molestation, wife beating and corporal punishment.”

She, however, commended Ogun State House of Assembly on the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill, calling on Governor Ibikunle Amosu to ensure the bill becomes a law as soon as possible.

She revealed the commencement of a two-week public awareness programme by WARDC, tagged Leave No One Behind: Ending Violence Against Women and Girls, which will feature football matches in Lagos, Bauchi, Borno and Ogun states.

Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201711290204.html

Adaobi Egboka, Executive Programmes Director, of Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) speaking at the Global Washington 2017 Annual Conference titled Renewing Global Leadership held on November 29, 2017. She was speaking at a panel on “Authentic Leadership Development”.

Adaobi Egboka, Executive Programmes Director, of Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) speaking at the Global Washington 2017 Annual Conference titled Renewing Global Leadership held on November 29, 2017. She was speaking at a panel on “Authentic Leadership Development”.

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It was a great opportunity to share the impact of LEDAP’s work within and among the communities it serves. As NGOs continue to evolve their engagement practices, leadership development and capacity building is becoming a critical strategy in creating real and lasting change.  LEDAP has been at the forefront of empowering and mentoring individuals, survivors and communities across Nigeria to find their voice, mobilize and take action. Adaobi, shared her experience on what is working and what are the challenges in authentically developing and supporting leaders from the local communities through legal empowerment, legislative advocacy, training, network building amongst others.

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Apo Six: Senate Investigates Reinstatement Of Police Officer

The Senate has resolved to investigate alleged recent reinstatement of a Deputy Police Commissioner, Mr Danjuma Ibrahim, who was indicted by a judicial panel of inquiry set up in 2005 to probe killing of five young Igbo traders and a young lady in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The resolution followed a Point of Order raised by Sen. Sonni Ogbuoji (PDP-Ebonyi) on the floor of plenary on Wednesday.

Ogbuoji expressed concern that two police officers who operated under the directive of Ibrahim to kill the young traders were convicted but he was acquitted.

He further expressed concern that the Police Service Commission (PSC) exonerated and reinstated the leader of the police team that committed the murder while his subordinates were severely punished.

“My personal explanation is on an incidence that took place that led to the death of six young people, five of them male and one a female at a police checkpoint. That incidence involved Ifeanyi Ozor, Chinedu Meniru, Isaac Ekene, Paulinus Ogbonna, Anthony Nwokike and Augustina Arebu.

“The then President Olusegun Obasanjo, set up a judicial panel of inquiry because the police report was unacceptable to him when they insisted that those young people were armed robbers.

“Following that, some police officers were found to have killed these young people.

“They were then taken to court by the state. The commander of that particular police unit, one Danjuma Ibrahim, as we speak today, has been reinstated by the police.

”Also, one of them, Othman Abdulsalami, till today is at large. But the court on the 12th of last month sentenced two of the police men to death for murder.

“One is worried that the commander of that particular patrol unit that killed what is now known as Apo six has been reinstated by the police whereas the police found others who were under his command culpable.

”This has generated a lot of tension among the people whose children were killed in cold blood.

”I call on the Senate to find out how one of the police officers is at large and the police is unable to trace his whereabouts till today, almost twelve years after.

”Also, one of them has been reinstated and reabsorbed into the Police Force.

”I urge the Senate to take interest to find out what has happened with this exercise, ” he said.

In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, asked Ogbuoji to bring a formal petition on the matter so that it would be referred to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.

He said, “I think this would have come under a petition so that we easily refer it to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions but as a ranking Senator, we give you this privilege.

”The matter will be referred to Ethics and Privileges when you come with a formal petition.’’

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had set up a panel of inquiry into alleged extra-judicial killing of five young men and a lady, said to be between ages between 21 and 25 on June 7, 2005.

The police officers allegedly involved in the murder were placed on suspension following findings of the panel.

Twelve years later, 2017, two of the officers were convicted and sentenced to death.

However, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court presiding judge, Ishaq Bello, said there was no evidence to convict Mr Danjuma, who was a Deputy Commissioner of Police and two others.

The victims, Ifeanyi Ozor, Ekene Mgbe, Paulinus Ogbonna, Chinedu Meniru, Anthony Nwokike and Augustina Arebu, were said to be returning from a nightclub when they were stopped at a police checkpoint.

The police had claimed that the victims were members of an armed robbery gang that had opened fire on the officers when accosted at the checkpoint.

The judicial panel of inquiry, however, found the police account to be false and recommended the trial of five officers for extra-judicial killings.

The indicted officers are Danjuma Ibrahim, Othman Abdulsalami, Nicholas Zakaria, Ezekiel Acheneje, Baba Emmanuel, and Sadiq Salami.

Source: https://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2017/11/29/apo-six-senate-investigates-reinstatement-police-officer/

Senate debates alleged ‘sale’ of Nigerian migrants in Libya

The Senate on Wednesday debated the alleged auction of Africans, mostly Nigerians, in the North African country of Libya.

Libya-map

The lawmakers took turn to condemn the act which has drawn public outcry following gory pictures and videos currently in circulation on social media.

Presenting the motion, Baba Kaka Garbai, Borno-APC, said that the inhuman condition aired in the latest report by CNN is a “humiliation not just to Nigeria and Africa as a whole but also to human civilization and the fundamental principles of human rights under the United Nations Charter.”

He noted that even though protests are ongoing in European countries such as Paris and Brussels, “we who are the most affected as these are our children, our brothers and sisters, our youths, are indifferent.”

“The report by Libyan officials is that its detention centres are full and they have only deported five per cent of the 20,000 in the detention centres because of lack of response from the home governments of the migrants;

“The Libyan government does not have the means nor the commitment to crack down on the perpetrators as their hands are full. Hence these smuggling networks are killing, torturing, extorting and detaining migrants at will.”

In his contribution, Dino Melaye, Kogi-APC, expressed surprise that the federal government has remained silent since the emergence of videos of the slave trade.

“Mr. President, the social media has been awashed for over a month now with different video clips with very excruciating pictures of Nigerians being humiliated,” he said. “It is high time we resigned to citizen diplomacy as practised by the United State of America. Nigeria and Nigerians must take the life of every Nigerians not only seriously but to defend Nigerians anywhere in the world. I am particularly surprised Mr. President that these video footages has been on YouTube and social media for over one month and there’s not been one very drastic position by the federal government to condemn and take very proactive position on the lives of Nigerians outside the shores of this country.”

He urged government at all levels to take the security of Nigerian citizens as priority.

Ali Wakili, Bauchi-APC, wants the government to give more attention to education as a way to nip the menace in the bud.

“We need to address the root causes of these issue of illegal migration. There is the issue of poverty that is bedevilling our people. There is the issue of poor governance, there is the issue of fact that we have corrupt leaders that have taken our wealth to the western countries and it is not helpful to them, nor to their descendants nor to us people,” he said.

“Our education needs to be looked into. We churn out graduates that are not employable, especially in the digital period in which we find ourselves. Our education system need to be looked into so that we can have vocational training and others so that they can meet up with local challenges.”

The Senate resolved to “condemn in totality the current depravity and sheer animalism being exhibited by these Libyans selling fellow Africans as slaves, urge the federal government to urgently investigate how many of our people are affected and urgently commence the process of repatriation and rehabilitation of Nigerian citizens caught up in these despicable treatment and human rights abuses.’

The Senate also resolved to invite the Libyan ambassador in Nigeria to brief the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and urged the government at all levels in Africa to take steps to ameliorate economic hardship feeding this migration crisis.

The lawmakers also adopted an additional prayer by Bala Ibn NaAllah, Kebbi-APC, that President Muhammadu Buhari should seize the opportunity of the ongoing EU-AU all summit in Abidjan to table the matter.

Source:https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/250989-senate-debates-alleged-sale-nigerian-migrants-libya.html