Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is deeply disturbed by the ongoing targeting of our client, journalist Omoyele Sowore, by Nigerian authorities.
On Monday, May 31, 2021, an officer of the Nigerian Police Force shot and injured Mr. Sowore during a peaceful protest for better governance and improved security in Nigeria. Mr. Sowore was hospitalized. This latest attack occurs just a few months after an arrest in December 2020. At that time, he was arrested, beaten, and detained following a peaceful protest which he was covering in his capacity as a journalist.
In response to this violence, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights filed an update before the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on the recent shooting and previous arrest and detention of Mr. Sowore. In October 2020, the Working Group published a decision declaring Sowore’s previous detention in 2019 was in violation of international law. Nigerian authorities had arrested Sowore on August 3, 2019, two days before a planned #RevolutionNow pro-democracy protest. He was held in arbitrary detention for 144 days, where he was subject to several due process violations.
We urge the Government of Nigeria to investigate and hold accountable all persons responsible for the unlawful arrest, detention, inhumane treatment, and shooting of Mr. Sowore.