Press Statement! Press Statement!! Press Statement!!!
PRAWA CALLS ON NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT TO INTEGRATE SPECIALIZED AND HOLISTIC REHABILITATION OF TORTURE VICTIMS INTO NIGERIA’S PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM
As the world marks the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (CAT) which sets out this very fundamental consensus, the Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) is using the occasion to call on Nigeria government to fulfill its obligation under the CAT by integrating specialized and holistic rehabilitation of torture victims into Nigeria’s public health system.
No doubt, physical and psychological torture is a common place in a number of State institutions in Nigeria. Physical torture is a common practice in police detention facilities where for reasons of inadequate forensic facilities, inadequate capacity, training and oversight, the majority of detainees experience torture. The deteriorating conditions of detention in Nigeria’s Prisons also subject many victims to psychological torture. “Whatever its context and whoever it may affect the bottom-line is that any victim of torture has a right to justice and reparations. There is no room for distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ or ‘guilty’ or ’ innocent’ victims”- World Organization Against Torture (OMCT).
Unfortunately, Nigeria as a State offers no rehabilitation services to support victims of torture. PRAWA is one of few Civil Society Actors providing such services. PRAWA, which is also marking its 20th year anniversary this year, has overtime worked to provide treatment/rehabilitation and support for torture victims by providing: counseling services to meet the psychological needs of victims of torture; research and advocacy on issues of torture, justice, prisons and security sector reform; and conducted human rights monitoring of detention facilities, amongst many other interventions.
Torture victims need to be given their rights with real remedies.
For further information, please click link to download a factsheet on torture in Nigeria- Factsheet on UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture-26Jun14
Yinka Lawal Esq.
Cynthia Abang Esq.
Assistant Program Officer