By Evelyn Okakwu
International rights group, Amnesty International, has begun investigation into the arrest and detention of over 100 women reportedly arrested in Imo State, after a protest on August 18.
The women were arrested following a protest, while demanding the release of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The women, who were mostly half-nude had taken to the street to express their support for the proposed state of Biafra and called on the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, to help them actualise their dream.
They were subsequently arrested by the police and arraigned at a Magistrate Court. The women were accused of unlawful assembly, treason and other offences.
The Magistrate, S.K. Durumba ordered the detention of the protesters till September 3.
Reacting to the decision of the magistrate to detain the protesters, “while awaiting further directive from the Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami”, a former Education Minister, Oby Ezekwesili condemned the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the Magistrate for their actions.
“IG @PoliceNG, how in the world did you put this level of blight on our Democracy with this saga of the protesting Imo women? I read that “the Magistrate says her #court lacks jurisdiction, adjourns till 3 Sept for attorney general’s advice. #Women remanded in #prison.” Wow. How?” Mrs Ezekwesili said on her twitter handle Thursday.
Various twitter handles including that of the former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Chidi Odinkalu, also joined in a twitter campaign demanding the release of the Imo women, with hashtags; #ProtestNotTreason, #FreeOwere112, #FreeIpobWomen, among others on Thursday.
While some hashtags put the number of detained women at 112, others suggest 114.
Meanwhile, in its reaction, the Amnesty international said via a tweet that it has commenced investigation.
“Amnesty International is investigating (the) disturbing arrest of 114 peaceful protesters,” the international rights group said in a tweet Thursday evening.