COVID-19: NGO Calls For Release Of All Prisoners Of Conscience

"Release of all prisoners of conscience from correctional centres and detention centres across the country in order to safeguard their lives and well being"...ICRP

With the ravaging Corona Virus Pandemic, otherwise known as COVID-19 that is claiming the lives of hundreds across the globe, a call has been made for the urgent release of all prisoners of conscience from detention in order to safeguard their lives and well being.

This call has become necessary following the poor and deplorable situations in our various detention centres and prisons nationwide.

Making this call on Wednesday, 01st April, 2020 is an Abuja based Non-Governmental Organization, NGO, the Initiative for Conciliation and Right Protection, ICRP.

The ICRP, in a statement issued and signed by its Secretary General, Dr. Abubakar, noted that its call has become imperative owing to the directives of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC for social distancing as part of the measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

According to Dr. Yahaya, ICRP dwells its position on the need to release all prisoners of conscience who are languishing in the country's correctional centers owing to the ravaging impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

With many prominent Nigerians having tested positive to the COVID-19 pandemic and also, the absence of any known cure, fears have been heightened that the figures so far released by the Federal Ministry of Health, alongside the NCDC may witness tremendous upward surge especially in the Correctional Centres across the country where the conditions are in deplorable state.

This will therefore put the lives of prisoners of conscience in danger of getting infected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will be recalled that on Tuesday, 31st of March in Kaduna Open Prison, inmates had raised a bedlam following what some described as an attempt at jailbreak by some of the inmates.

This had attracted the presence of personnel of the Nigeria Police and the cordon off of movement in the vicinity.

The Kaduna Police Command however reported that the situation was brought under control by the authorities of the Correctional Services Department.

This therefore, gives credence to the call from the ICRP for the immediate release of all Prisoners of Conscience in order to protect them from such actions.

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