Nigeria: Human Rights

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 15th July 2021.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Labour, Leeds Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation in Nigeria.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK Government follows developments on human rights in Nigeria closely. We are particularly concerned by the increase in criminal and terrorist violence across Nigeria, which is having an impact on the human rights of those affected, including the right to life. We are also concerned by allegations of serious human rights violations committed by the police and military, including those currently under investigation by the judicial panels of inquiry established following last year's #EndSARS protests. The Nigerian Government's recent decision to ban Twitter is also a troubling development, with an impact on Nigerians' freedom of expression.

Our position on human rights is firm: they are universal and must apply equally to all people. We regularly raise human rights with the Nigerian Government. I [Minister Duddridge] raised issues with the President's Chief of Staff, the Foreign Minister and the Governor of Lagos during my visit to Nigeria in April. We discussed rising insecurity and the importance of ensuring accountability for any human rights violations, including those being investigated by the #EndSARS judicial panels of inquiry. I [Minister Duddridge] have publicly expressed my concern about the recent Twitter ban. We will continue to stress the importance of protecting human rights for all Nigerians, and will continue to support efforts to improve human rights compliance and conditions in Nigeria.

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