Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an urgent appeal to Mr. Maina Kiai, the United Nations, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, drawing his attention to continuous “harassment and intimidation of the#BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) group by the Nigerian authorities, and the impermissible restrictions on the rights of members to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”
SERAP in the appeal dated 9th September 2016, and signed by the organization’s senior staff counsel Timothy Adewale said that, “No Nigerian law makes it a crime to demonstrate in any part of the country. Harassing the BBOG group and stopping its members from proceeding peacefully to the seat of government is overkill.”
SERAP noted that “It’s the primary duty of the President Muhammadu Buhari government to protect all demonstrators, including the BBOG group and enable lawful demonstrations to proceed peacefully. Carrying out this obligation is about deeds, not words.”
“SERAP considers restrictions placed on the right of the BBOG group to peaceful assembly by law enforcement agencies as unnecessary, disproportionate, unjustified in law, and in bad faith.
“SERAP, therefore, requested Mr Kiai to put pressure on the Nigerian government to end continuing harassment and restrictions on the right of members of the BBOG group to protest and take measures to encourage, promote and facilitate the enjoyment of the right to peaceful assembly by this group and other group of Nigerians in any part of the country.”