According to Nigeria's Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), detained Nigerian blogger, Jonathan Elendu has been "tortured to either disclose the sources of the several embarrassing news reports on prominent political leaders in Nigeria" and is on a hunger strike because he is afraid that he will be poisoned in jail. HURIWA's National Coordinator, Mr. Onwubike also said that Elendu "was also being reportedly pressured into framing up some others."
Onwubike went on to say,
"As a human rights body, HURIWA condemns the SSS resort to torture (physical and psychological) to extract information from Mr. Jonathan Elendu.MY HUMBLE THOUGHTS
"It is unimaginable that the SSS would resort to Stone Age methods of extracting information in a brazen breach of the fundamental human rights of Mr. Jonathan Elendu in an administration that has made respect for the rule of law its mantra ... equally condemnable is the reported transfer of Elendu from the custody of the SSS to that of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for possible arraignment for money laundering, since SSS appears to have come to the end of the road."
"If true, this calls to question the competence of the SSS as an intelligence and security organisation."[sic]
I hope that this report, the only one, other than my previous post, that has come out with new information about Elendu's situation in almost a week, is not true. However, I have to admit that given the US State Department's report on the SSS and other security forces in Nigeria, I think there is more truth to this news story than I care to admit. If Elendu is on a hunger strike, then his health over the last 11 days must have deteriorated significantly and if he is not going to be released by the Nigerian government, he should at least be allowed to see an independent and reputable doctor to care for him. There is precedent for such. After all, while under EFCC detention earlier this year, James Ibori was flown to a hospital when he needed medical care. In fact, when released from jail, the Court noted that his health "needed the sort of medical attention he could not receive in prison." The same - medical care and release from detention - should be accorded to Jonathan Elendu.
Furthermore, being that Elendu is now in EFCC custody, why is it that Elendu has still not been allowed to meet with his lawyer, Ugo Muoma? In all my time covering and following EFCC cases, I have never heard of an individual being denied his Constitutional right to legal counsel. It is quite curious that Elendu has not been allowed to speak with his lawyer and his family.
OCTOBER 31ST - "FREE JONATHAN ELENDU NOW!"
I have to also mention that apparently what is happening to Elendu could happen to anyone in Nigeria, especially if you are not a person of means or with considerable 'connections' to protect you. It is for that reason, the very ability to infringe upon the right to be free, that many are coming together to encourage the Nigerian government to either release Elendu, or charge him. On Friday, October 31st, many of us will title our blog posts and change our Facebook status' to say "FREE JONATHAN ELENDU NOW!" Please join us. You do not have to be Nigerian or even be a blogger to be troubled by the Jonathan Elendu situation and this new development. Together, we can all encourage the Nigerian government to do the right thing in this case and hopefully prevent such from happening to any person again.
Also, check out Waffy's published article (Nigeria's Guardian newspaper) - 'Who Is Afraid Of The Internet?'
Related Articles of Interest:
- Blogger, Jonathan Elendu, Still In Custody
- Nigerian Blogger Arrested!!!
- Channels TV Shut Down By Yar'Adua
- Suppression In A Democratic Regime
- The Nigerian Psyche
- Persistent Psychological Paralysis
- The Significance of Persistent Psychological Paralysis