Thursday, 19 June 2014

EKITI 2014: UN, AU asked to ensure international penalty for election violence

United Nations and African Union have been asked to apply international sanctions for those caught in violent acts in the conduct of Saturday governorship election in Ekiti State. Civil society groups in a statement on Wednesday, called for “international accountability for whoever is responsible for violence before, during or after the election.” The groups called on “UN and African Union human rights mechanisms in particular, the UN Human Rights Council and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, to be vigilant and closely monitor continuing serious human rights violations occurring around the Ekiti election and to hold the Nigerian government accountable for its international obligations and commitments.” The groups are: Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Women Advocates and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), and Human Rights Advancement, Development and Advocacy Centre (HURIDAC). In the statement signed on their behalf by SERAP executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the groups expressed “concerns about the violent attacks and killings surrounding the election and suggests the police and security agencies are failing in their responsibility to protect the citizens. Unless urgent and concrete steps are taken to prevent these attacks now, the situation is likely to worsen during and after the election.” “One of the most critical ways that individuals can influence governmental decision-making is through voting. Voting is critical to individual participation in government but freedom to vote can’t be effectively exercised in an atmosphere of violence and impunity of perpetrators.”

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