By Pamela Eboh
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has expressed displeasure over what it described as a deliberate, permanent and insidious psychological torture being committed against its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
It said that such act contravens the laws of United Nation Human Rights Council, UNHRC as well as all other International Human Rights laws and principles in DSS confinement and torture facilities.
IPOB said that DSS agents have continued to flout and violate the existing court orders strictly given by justice Binta Nyako concerning the welfare of its leader.
In a statement by IPOB media and Publucity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the group described Kanu as a high profile prisoner of conscience saying that the DSS have consistently flouted the court ruling that Kanu deserves an interface with fellow human.
The statement read in part, “There abound obvious and utter disregard by DSS on the existing laws and thereby, consistently flouting the court ruling that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu deserves an interface with fellow human.
“Solitary confinement is a torture under UN Law. Justice Binta made a Court Order that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu should be visited twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays by his lawyers, family members and visitors of his choice. We want to make it known to all and sundry that our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is now being allowed to see his visitors for only 30 minutes in contravention of the competent court Order that approved 2 hours per visit by his lawyers and family members.
“We want to remind DSS of their required obligations some of which are to abide by stipulated Court Orders and procedures in handling all matters associated with Our Leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu so as to minimize unforseen circumstantial consequences should anything goes wrong.
“We are making a public call and open invitation to the International Community, Amnesty International, Embassies, Governments, Intersociety and NGOs including all reputable Human Rights Organisations to monitor the gross violation of all known fundamental human rights of the Leader of IPOB and all other illegally incarcerated IPOB members in Nigeria.
“It’s no doubt that Biafrans especially Igbo race and their religious worshippers are racially profiled and discriminated against in Nigeria by DSS. That’s is why notorious terrorists and bandits from the North can kill and commit all sorts of crimes and never get arrested but innocent and unarmed Biafrans especially Igbos including old men and women are indiscriminately arrested, tortured, incarcerated and forcefully disapered without trace by this lawless DSS and their sister security agents.
While making reference to international Humanitarian Law, IPOB said, “The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977 contain a number of provisions that absolutely prohibits torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment that DSS mated on Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and other individuals especiall IPOB members.
“For example, torture is prohibited under Article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions, Article 12 of the First and Second Conventions, Articles 17 and 87 of the Third Convention, Article 32 of the Fourth Convention, Article 75 (2 a & e) of Additional Protocol I and Article 4 (2 a & h) of Additional Protocol II. In international armed conflict, torture constitutes a grave breach under Articles 50, 51, 130 and 147 respectively of these Conventions. Under Article 85 of Additional Protocol I, these breaches constitute war crimes. In non-international armed conflict, they are considered serious violations.
“In addition, Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions, Article 75 (2 b & e) of Additional Protocol I and Article 4 (2 a & h) of Additional Protocol II prohibit “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.
The group warned that If anything goes wrong with Kanu in Nigeria’s DSS solitary confinement or custody, government will know that IPOB members are not push over, and that consequences will live for generations.
It called on the global Community to take note of the atrocities being perpetrated against its leader by Nigeria Government and the Directorate for Security Services, DSS, noting that Kanu is being tortured in custody with four days solitary confinement and allowed only 30minutes to relate with humans on Mondays and Thursdays.
It added, “As against the subsisting Court Order that allowed Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to stay up to 2 hours with his visitors, DSS no longer allow his visitors to stay with him longer than 30 minutes on each visiting day. How do DSS want Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyers to interact with their clients for 30 minutes over ongoing cases?
“This flagrant abuse of Court Orders and dehumanization of our Leader is not acceptable and must be stopped going forward.
“May we reemphasize that we’ll not accept any stage-managed attack by DSS agents targeted at Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, we have earlier pointed out such stunt upon reception of Intel by M-Branch.