BUJA, Nigeria, 20 March 2014
Civil society groups spoke out today at the Human Rights Council 25th session in Geneva as Nigeria rejects recommendations to ensure the universality of human rights as part of its Universal Periodic Review. In a joint oral statement endorsed by Fantsuam Foundation, Development Dynamics, PEN Nigeria, and CIVICUS, representatives from APC urged the government of Nigeria to reconsider policies and practices that are in clear violation of international human rights standards and commitments.
In October 2013 Nigeria participated in the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a new UN mechanism by which States are reviewed on the human rights situation in their country. During the review, Nigeria received 10 recommendations from other states to protect the rights of sexual minorities and ensure the universality of human rights irrespective of gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and religious affiliation. Each of these recommendations was ultimately rejected.
Freedom of expression and the right to privacy online were completely absent from discussion of Nigeria’s human rights record at the UPR, despite growing fears over new legislation, including the Lawful Interception of Information Bill, and Nigeria’s public commitment to protecting human rights online.