Amnesty International has condemned the arrest of Nastura Sharif, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Coalition of Northern Groups, the organizers of Tuesday’s protest against the killing of innocent people by bandits in Katsina state.
In a chat with journalists, the Amnesty Media Manager, Isa Sanusi, called on the Nigerian Government to immediately release Sharif.
“Nigerian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Nastura Ashir Sharif who has done nothing more than speak up in defence of people’s right to life and calling for an end of the rising insecurity across northern Nigeria.
“He was simply asking the authorities to do their job. His arrest appears to be an attempt to intimidate and harass both him and others peacefully exercising freedom of assembly and expression. Protest is not a crime, it is a right. Subjecting activists to such arbitrary arrest is a violation of Nigerian and international human rights laws” he said.
Narrating Sharif’s arrest, the Director of Operations of the protest group, Aminu Adam, in a statement, said they were invited for an interactive session by the Katsina state Police Commissioner, Sanusi Buba, who detained them and handed them over to a team of policemen who took them to Abuja.
“The commissioner handed us to a team of policemen, headed by the officer in charge, Force Intelligence Bureau, who led us to Abuja. We drove from Katsina to Abuja with the police team in a white bus and a hilux.
“However, on getting to force headquarters in Abuja, they told us that Sharif is under arrest for the protest and they put him in detention” Adam said.