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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 July 2005, 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK
Nigeria police accused of torture
By Anna Borzello
BBC News, Lagos

Man walks past Nigeria police poster
Many Nigerian do not feel reassured
Six years after a return to civilian rule, Nigeria's police still routinely torture detainees, a new report says.

The study, carried out by the Human Rights Watch group, is entitled "Rest in Pieces - Police Torture and Deaths in Custody in Nigeria".

It is the first comprehensive documentation of alleged torture in the West African country.

Based on interviews with 50 victims, it argues that rape and mutilation are commonly used to extract confessions.

The Nigerian police have a poor reputation but the 74-page document still has the power to shock.

Suspects are suspended from the ceiling by their hands, beaten with metal objects, sprayed with tear gas in their eyes or shot in the feet, the report says.

The injuries sometimes result in death, it adds.
Olusegun Obasanjo
The report will add pressure to President Obasanjo

The report's title, "Rest in Pieces", comes from a phrase Human Rights Watch says is used by the Nigerian police to describe detainees who are killed in their custody.

The police have yet to respond to the report but it is likely to come as a blow to President Olusegun Obasanjo, who has been campaigning since the start of the year to convince creditor nations that the government is committed to political and economic reforms.


SEE ALSO:
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