Site icon The News Chronicle

Don’t Allow SARS Become a Mighty Human Bondage, Group Tells Govt.

The Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (IHRHL), has charged the Nigerian government not to allow the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to become a mighty fabric of human bondage in Rivers State and the country as a whole.

The Acting Director of the group, Nwennenda C. King, said in a statement on Wednesday, ‘’it is our prayer in this darkest hour of law enforcement disposition, that our responsible political leaders must not look on with icy coldness, and remain unmoved on the face of the perils and calamities which the bad eggs of SARS is visiting upon unsuspecting citizens of the realm.’’

IHRHL was reacting to the barbarous treatment meted out to Kofi Bartels, a renowned broadcast journalist with the Nigeria INFO in Port Harcourt on June 4, in course of the performance of his duties.

Kofi while on duty, saw a young man being beaten to pops by SARS along the way of his duty, and attempted to take a photo shot, fearing that direct intervention could yield him worse reaction from the ‘’tyrannical’’ special security outfit of the Nigeria Police.

According to the group, ‘’SARS turned their weapon of wizardry on Kofi, upon recognising him as one of the journalists that has been giving them sleepless nights, using his expertise on radio, by way of speech. His capital offence was SPEECH.

‘’He was beaten, manhandled, handcuffed like a common criminal, thrown into a bus and  bundled to the SARS Torture Chambers at Rukpokwu Town, where  inhuman and degrading treatment continued unabated. It took the intervention of an ex-commander of SARS, when the news sipped out, for Kofi to know and see freedom. It could probably have been his end, but for his personality.’’

IHRHL is condemning this ‘’odious treatment of a citizen’’, adding ‘’this is happening less than two days after President Muhammadu Buhari in response to a recent report by the National Human Rights Commission,  openly vowed that the rights of citizens must be respected and  protected under the rule of law.

‘’The Inspect of General of Police was present and added his voice to the absolute requirements for citizens to be treated within the bounds of the UN Minimum Standards  for Law Enforcement Officials. For the avoidance of any doubt, freedom consists in the safe and sacred possession of man and woman’s personal privileges, natural, social, economic, civil, and religious rights, which they cannot surrender without ruin to themselves; and of which to be  deprived by any other power is despotism.

‘’The essence of bad SARS has been to remove stability to the principles of law enforcement , narrowing the basis of freedom, suppressing it,  and circulating  destruction of the spirit of liberty; that law enforcement is aimed at preserving and  protecting.

‘’We have today, under SARS, a handful of men, free themselves, who execute the most base and abominable despotism over hundreds of their fellow creatures in Rivers; that innocence should be the victim of oppression, that industry should toil for rapine, that the harmless citizens should suffer for crimes they did not commit, for failing to deliver extortions to gun toting law enforcement officials.

‘’In other words, hundreds of fellow creatures should sweat, not for their own benefit but for the luxury and rapacity of tyrannical depredation – that indeed, these ordinary creatures gifted by Providence with the ordinary endowment of humanity, should groan under a system of despotism unmatched in recent histories of law enforcement in the country.’’

Continuing, the group said, ‘’there is no shadow of doubt, that the original benefits to citizens, following a devastating criminality of some political criminals in Rivers, is being outweighed by the criminality of SARS itself. This is most unfortunate, and we urge that the bad eggs be fished out and made to squarely face the law, because they are well known.’’

Beyond following up on the Kofi Bartel matter, to ensure justice and restoration of his fundamental human rights, the group alleged that the behavior of the Rivers State Government in varied ways, motivates criminality among citizens.

They are therefore, urging for the evolution of a political, economic and social environment that is inclusive; delivers a sense of belonging to all manners of citizens, with a view to reducing vandal politics and political behavior, that will reduce drastically. the incidence of antisocial behavior among the youths and others in society.

‘’The absence of horrendous kidnapping, free for all violent cultism, political assassinations, murderous be-heading of citizens, extreme poverty in the midst of abundance, bad governance will make the job of law enforcement in the state less burdensome’’, IHRHL said, adding ‘’we will continue to speak for a policy position that gives hope to the helpless in society, even if all other voices turn silent.’’

Exit mobile version