HURIWA Condemns Government's Inaction Over Drugs' Related Executions
A frontline Non-governmental organization - HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the Nigerian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Information for doing nothing to sensitize Nigerian Young travelers on the dangers of associating themselves with hard drugs related crimes in such jurisdictions as Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.
The Rights group spoke against the backdrop of the execution on Friday morning of three Nigerians in Indonesia following their hurriedly choreographed prosecution for hard drugs trafficking.
The Rights group said the executions are tantamount to state sponsored mass murder since those Nigerians were never accorded all their rights under international humanitarian laws.
HURIWA said under Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights and Article 14 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and political Rights, all member nations of the United Nations are obliged to provide fair trials to all persons brought before the courts over alleged crime.
Specifically, the Rights group said Article 10 of the UDHR affirms thus: “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him."
HURIWA said that it is sad and indeed disappointing that successive Foreign Affairs and Information Ministers have failed to originate and implement massive sensitization and orientation programmes to dissuade youths from chasing after quick wealth through such illegality as trafficking in hard drugs.
The group also accused the Nigerian Foreign ministry of abandoning Nigerians in their times of such horrendous ordeals even when in the real sense of it not all of these Nigerians are actual drug traffickers but are innocent persons just set up by the local law enforcement authorities due to racism and corrupt practices such as seeking for financial inducements. HURIWA alleged that the police in Indonesia for instance have been accused of unfair tactics and bribe seeking.
The Rights group also faulted the failure of the Nigerian Embassies in those Countries to effectively represent those Nigerians in conflict with the laws of those foreign jurisdictions over drugs related offences.
The Rights group also wants Nigeria to cut off diplomatic relationships with Indonesia for consistently executing Nigerians who had protested over the sham trials they are subjected just as the Rights group asked for action to stop further execution of more Nigerians in Indonesia and Malaysia and other jurisdictions where hard drug trafficking is punishable with the death penalty.
"The Presidency must take quick and effective initiative to protest in the strongest terms possible including cutting off all diplomatic friendship between Nigeria and Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam that have over time carried out wanton public execution of Nigerians who aren't given adequate legal defense and opportunities. Most of those Nigerians already executed had complained that their prosecutions were carried out in the local language of those nations and that the court's appointed defense counsels were mandated to make it easier for the Prosecution to obtain conviction. In all of these cases the Nigerian Embassies aren't proactive enough to defend the universally protected fundamental human rights of their citizens who are subjected to unjust trials."
HURIWA recalled that Indonesia executed four convicted drug traffickers, including three Nigerians, early on Friday as it pushed ahead with its so called "war against drugs", although another 10 scheduled executions were delayed.
The Rights group further recalled as many as 14 people were originally set to face the firing squad together on Friday, but officials decided a "comprehensive review" was needed to "avoid any mistake" in the 10 cases, Attorney General H. Muhammad Prasetyo said just as the date for the next round of executions has not been set, Prasetyo told reporters in Jakarta.
Those executed - three Nigerians and an Indonesian man - were shot during a thunderstorm shortly after midnight on Nusakambangan Island in Central Java.
HURIWA condemned the Indonesian government for arrogantly ignoring international calls for clemency and for hurriedly pushing ahead with its drive against narcotics even with several misteps and calculated unfair trials.
In a statement jointly authorized by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf the Rights group has therefore called on the relevant government agencies to ensure that massive sensitization campaigns are kick-started to discourage drugs trafficking amongst youths.