“To be in a context of brutal police violence and beatings, death threats and assassination attempts sustainably have been fighting against violations of human rights, particularly among the poor and less educated, and to persistently working for the abolition of the death penalty awarded to Justine Ijeomah, Nigeria, Per Anger Prize in 2013. “
See interview with Justine Ijeomah:
Justine Ijeomah has founded the Nigerian human rights organization HURSDEF (Human Rights Social Development and Environmental Foundation) . He is working under difficult circumstances in his hometown of Port Harcourt and is a driving force for human rights.In Nigeria, the police are often brutal and legal certainty is low. In emergency situations shrugs Justine Ijeomah and other activists in HURSDEF out of detention centers and police stations, and try by their mere presence reduce the risk of abuse and bring about the release on bail. Those arrested are often street children who have no other representatives.Justine Ijeomah also seems to initiate investigations when people disappeared or was arresting. The work may also involve getting out bodies from the morgue or to be present at court hearings.
Although Nigeria is a democracy, illegal detentions, extrajudicial executions, torture and disappearances relatively common. Amnesty International in 2013 reported on the systematic police violence occurs without charge being investigated or prosecuted. HURSDEF actively working for the abolition of the death penalty. A strong focus is also on safeguarding the rights of children. The organization consists of more than 60 human rights activists with their own experiences of torture or arbitrary arrest. Many have themselves been the subject of HURSDEF earlier.
Working for human rights under these conditions is of major concern. Justine Ijeomah has repeatedly received death threats and been forced to go underground. He has been arrested and subjected to physical abuse and torture, as well as for serious attempted murder. Justine Ijeomah also as won both the trust and respect of even the judiciary and the police force that he guards.