The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says the brutality meted to Mr Joe Ajaero, the National President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in Imo state on Wednesday was abuse of his fundamental rights.
The Executive Secretary, NHRC, Mr Anthony Ojukwu, condemned the alleged brutality against Ajaero stressing that it was an abuse of his right to peaceful protest.
Ojukwu said this in Abuja on Friday when he reacted to the alleged attack on mother’s NLC President.
He said that people’s rights to peaceful protest and freedom of expression should be respected for the progress of human and Nigerian society.
The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that NLC alleged that Ajaero was picked up at the state secretariat of the congress and taken to an unknown location where he was brutalized.
Ojukwu, condemned the attack, describing it as gross violation of human rights of Ajaero and other Nigerians who might use protests to register their grievances against constituted authorities.
“It is a reprehensible act, a flagrant violation of human rights and an affront to the principles of democracy and the rule of law.
“Brutality on Mr. Joe Ajaero, a senior labour leader, represents impunity and a direct attack on the fundamental rights of individuals to associate and express their views and opinions freely, which is the cornerstone of a democratic society like ours.
The Commission reiterated that in a democratic nation like Nigeria, the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression must be respected and upheld no matter how uncomfortable law enforcement agents felt.
Ojukwu, therefore, called on the relevant authorities to swiftly investigate this ugly incident in order to bring the perpetrators to Justice and ensure such acts of brutality were never repeated or tolerated.
He maintained that persons responsible for the brutality were held accountable for their actions, to serve as a clear message that such behavior would not be tolerated in the society.
According to him, it is unethical to use force and violence to arrest unarmed civilians; this brutal act is against international best practices for the promotion and protection of human rights.
“The Commission reiterate its commitment to upholding human rights, protecting freedom of expression, and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all individuals in the country,” he said.
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