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CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF VICTIMS OF TORTURE IN FOCUS

Laws are rules that are made and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behaviours and ensure that there is equality and respect among the people.

The formation of laws therefore may be influenced by a constitution and the rights encoded therein.

Most times, offenders are exposed to torture, an inhuman act against the constitutional rights of victims.

The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defined torture as the act of causing somebody severe pain in order to punish or make them say or do something.

The torturer may or may not kill or injure the victim but torture could result in death.

People are tortured for various reasons including revenge, bid to extract information or a confession and to serve as deterrent.

This inhuman act is prohibited under International and domestic laws of most countries, although some nations do not comply with these regulations.

Article five of the United Nations declaration on Human rights states that no one shall be subjected to torture or to any inhuman treatment.

Also, the Geneva Conference of 1949 and the additional protocol of June 8, 1977 prohibit torture and outrages on individual dignity.

A victim of torture who pleaded anonymity said it was an experience he would rather bury.

Reacting to alleged torture by some teachers, a parent Mr. Chukwuma Igbokwe warned that the act of torture was an extreme form of punishment.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Enugu State Police Command, Mr. Ebere Amarizu in a telephone conversation, advised security agents to discharge their duties within the ambit of the law.

He also encouraged members of the public to report cases of torture to relevant agencies.

A Legal Practitioner, and Chairman, Nsukka Lawyers Association, Mr. Alphonsus Ugwuafia said that the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended frowned at torture and other inhuman treatments.

Mr. Ugwuafia called on victims of torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment to seek legal redress.

 

AMAKA UCHENNADIUKWU

 

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