Amnesty International has asked the Nigerian Government to ensure that every citizen is free from abuse especially at the hands of security operatives during the lockdown instituted in some parts of the country to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

The rights group in a statement on Monday signed by Isa Sanusi, Media Manager for Amnesty International in Nigeria, said concerned authorities must give clear instructions to security agencies not to abuse their powers.

The statement reads, “While acknowledging the size of the challenge and efforts made by authorities to fight COVID-19 across Nigeria, we are also concerned by reports and videos circulating on social media showing violations of human rights, that include beatings by law enforcement agencies tasked with ensuring compliance with the lockdown.

“As the nation observes the 14-day lockdown, the rights of citizens must be respected and protected, including the right to health care, security, and access to sufficient food and water.

The lockdown must have a human face; enabling people to have access to vital needs and relief for those who can no longer earn a living since the majority of Nigerians are daily earners and live below poverty line.

“Congestion in Nigerian prisons is staggering and a threat to the lives of prisoners, especially at this time that requires social distancing to prevent the rapid spread of the disease.

“Even in the midst of a global health crisis, the Nigerian authorities must protect people’s rights and ensure that all Nigerians have access to healthcare, food, water and all other basic needs.”

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