Groups: Nigeria authorities persecute 2 activists

AP News
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Posted: Jan 17, 2012 12:44 PM
Groups: Nigeria authorities persecute 2 activists

Human rights groups accuse Nigerian authorities of trumping up charges against a labor union leader and member in Nigeria's southeast.

Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and 33 Nigerian civil rights groups said in a statement Tuesday that leader Osmond Ugwu and member Raphael Elobuike were arrested last October during a labor union meeting in the city of Enugu.

The statement said they were charged with assault and attempted murder, but that no evidence has been provided, except that Ugwu tore an officer's uniform while being forcefully arrested. It also said that Ugwu and Elobuike have been denied bail.

Nigeria's police have long been accused of brutality and several groups have filed official reports cataloging deficiencies in Nigeria's criminal justice system.

Authorities could not immediately be reached for comment.