Human Rights Violation: Police Attack on Delta Protesters Unacceptable

The use of force by the Nigerian police to disperse peaceful protesters continues to reoccur, despite the action being a stark demonstration of disregard for the sanctity of human lives.

Development Diaries reports that a middle-aged woman was shot and many other persons were injured in Ughelli, Delta State, when operatives of the Delta State Police Command resorted to the forceful dispersal of a group of protesting women.

We understand that the women from Oteri-Ughelli were protesting against alleged incessant harassment and extortion by policemen in the community.

According to a report by Punch, the peaceful protest turned bloody when security operatives used heavy teargas against the unarmed women and shot one middle-aged woman in her left leg while others were beaten to stupor.

Let us reiterate that peaceful assembly is a fundamental right enshrined in the Nigerian constitution and various international conventions. It is therefore unacceptable that the Nigerian police, more often than not, choose to respond with brutality rather than dialogue, thereby deepening the trust deficit between the government and its citizens.

The shooting of a protester amid the demonstrations is another example of the reckless and disproportionate tactics employed by law enforcement.

It is unacceptable to use live bullets against defenceless civilians, and this act serves as a reminder of the culture of impunity that surrounds Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies.

Instead of using violence to silence those who speak out, the authorities have a duty to respect the rule of law and defend citizens’ rights.

Development Diaries calls on the Delta State Police Command to fish out its operatives involved in that needless attack on defenceless citizens and ensure they are held accountable for their actions.

Calls for justice and accountability must be heeded, and those responsible for the excessive use of force must be held accountable through transparent and impartial investigations.


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