Sunday, 19 July 2015

Human Rights Watch asks Obama to force Buhari to endorse gay rights.

Ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the United States, Human Rights Watch has written to US president Barack Obama asking him to discuss violence and corruption in Nigeria and make Buhari endorse gay rights as issues Nigeria must address.
In a letter dated July 15, 2015 signed by its Executive Director, Kenneth Roth, the international rights organisation told Obama that Buhari’s visit offered an opportunity to re-evaluate US-Nigeria partnership, while asking him to address the three issues and “speak publicly about them.”

“During his inauguration speech, Buhari said “[w]e shall overhaul the rules of engagement to avoid human rights violations in operations. We shall improve operational and legal mechanisms so that disciplinary steps are taken against proven human rights violations by the Armed Forces.” We urge you to build on this commitment by encouraging the development of clear and public rules of engagement, based on respect for human rights, under which every member of the security forces is expected to operate.
“We also urge you to press Buhari to immediately suspend any member of Nigeria’s security forces, including senior officers, where there is credible evidence of their involvement in serious human rights abuses, and investigate and prosecute them in accordance with international fair trial standards. As part of his efforts at security sector reform, it is likely Buhari will request increased US and international support for Nigeria’s counter offensive against Boko Haram and for its security and police forces. If security assistance is increased, we urge you to set clear benchmarks that ensure respect for human rights.
“Finally, psycho-social care for all victims of the northeast conflict is rightly a priority for your administration. We encourage you to continue your strong support in this area and urge Buhari to develop a detailed plan to ensure the basic rights of all victims, including medical and mental health services, as well as education for school-aged victims in displaced persons camps and host communities.

Corruption and weak governance
 “Corruption and weak governance mean that Nigeria’s tremendous oil wealth, which could have been used to improve the lives of ordinary Nigerians, continues to be squandered and siphoned off by the governing elite, leaving poverty, malnutrition, and mortality rates among the worst in the world. These problems are most acute in the North – the country’s poorest region – but also in the resource-rich Niger Delta where widespread poverty and unemployment, exacerbated by environmental degradation and corruption, have created popular unrest and facilitated the growth of extremist groups.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
“In a country where LGBT rights were already under threat, the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Law, which President Goodluck Jonathan ratified in January 2014, has entrenched discrimination even further. The new law criminalizes public displays of affection between same-sex couples and penalizes organizations advocating for the rights of LGBT people. The law could inhibit the right to health by criminalizing outreach to LGBT groups. The vaguely worded law contradicts Nigeria’s Constitution, as well as its obligations under regional and international human rights treaties, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Given the high priority your administration has assigned to LGBT issues, we urge you to call on Buhari to repeal the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill.

1 comment:

  1. That's the reason behind the preferential treatment.