Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Who polices the police?

Amnesty International said it had investigated facilities run by the Nigerian police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), and found multiple cases where “confessions” were allegedly obtained through torture, where people who had not been charged with any crime were claimed to be beaten and starved, and where suspects were detained for months longer than the maximum 48 hours defined in Nigeria’s constitution.

A specialist police unit that was set up to tackle Nigeria’s alarming rise in violent crime has instead become a hotbed for alleged corruption, where suspects are claimed to be detained in horrific conditions and tortured until they or their relatives can pay for their freedom, according to their report.

The unit has become seen as a comfortable posting in the police force where officers allegedly know they can “earn a substantial amount of money in a short time”, in part through extortion and in part through the theft of valuables from suspects.

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