[The Activism Blog] Amnesty International calls for fairness in mass trial for Boko Haram suspects

As the federal government begins the mass trial of Boko-Haram suspects, Amnesty International has expressed doubt about the dispensation of justice as it relates to the suspect and thereby calls for a fair trial.

The global outfit in a statement issued by Isa Sanusi, Media Manager, Amnesty International Nigeria, quoted the Director, Osai Ojigho as saying, “that the trials should provide a much-needed opportunity to deliver justice for the many victims of human rights abuses and crimes allegedly committed by Boko Haram members.

However, the fact the trials are taking place behind closed doors, with no access to the media or the public, raises huge concerns. Public hearings are crucial for protecting an individual’s right to a fair trial and due process.

The Nigerian authorities must ensure that all fair trial rights are respected. Defendants must have access to lawyers and interpreters if required, and that witnesses and victims are protected from potential reprisals.

In instances where no prima facie case has been established, as is reportedly the situation in some of the cases, detainees should be immediately released,” the global outfit said.

Amnesty International has continued to document human right abuse by the Nigerian Military against citizens in the course of fighting the Boko-Haram sect.

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