[ 18. Jun 2007 ]

Protest Note to Spanish Authorities

Letter of protest to Spanish authorities on the gagging and killing of Osamuyia Aikpitanhi.


Nigerians and Non-Nigerians should :: sign the protest letter, or call the Nigerian Ambassador in Madrid at: +34 915630911. You would be saving a people.

Letter of Protest to Spanish Authorities

The Government of Spain
The Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria
Spanish Ambassadors Worldwide
The Spanish Ambassador to The United Nations

The Presidency
Nigerian Ministry of External Affairs
Nigerian Embassies Worldwide
Nigerian Newspapers
Nigerian Senate
Nigerian House of Reps
Nigerian State Governors

We, the undersigned write to strongly protest the horrible and dehumanizing death of a Nigerian citizen, Osamuyia Aikpitanhi in the hands of Spanish law enforcement agents on June 9, 2007.

In a bid to deport Mr. Aikpitanhi from Spain to Nigeria , We understand that Spanish law enforcement agents employed measures that were unreasonable, inhumane, illegal, and, ultimately, fatal. According to reports, Spanish law enforcement agents arrested Mr. Aikpitanhi, beat him, bound his hands and legs firmly with ropes, and put a gag over his mouth. The Spanish Officials then loaded him like an animal onto an Iberia aircraft bound for Lagos , Nigeria . Finally, the law enforcement agents covered him with a sack in order to prevent other passengers traveling on the aircraft from observing the undignified and inhumane manner in which Mr. Aikpitanhi was restrained. Mr. Aikpitanhi, a human being, was treated worse than an animal.

Shortly after the aircraft became air borne, Mr. Aikpitanhi died. He died an inhuman death, bound, gagged and soiled in his own waste. Apparently, he choked on the gag that the law enforcement agents had put on him. The Spanish law enforcment agents murdered Mr. Aikpitanhi.

The Nigerian community worldwide is shocked and appalled that Spain, a member country of the European Union and a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, would permit her law enforcement officials to conduct themselves in the macabre fashion that that are in complete contravention of all International Human Rights Instruments and their protocols. Arrested persons have rights and are indeed presumed to be innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law. And, even in the event of conviction, are entitled to decent and humane handling in transit in conformity with the International Declaration of Human Rights as well as treatment that conforms with human decency.

While in general, the laws of most countries recognize that law enforcement officers may use reasonable restraints to effect the arrest of a suspect, depending on the circumstances, legal standards prescribe that every measure taken should be reasonable. Gagging a suspect to death is extreme, inhumane, and unacceptable in any modern jurisdiction.

Moreover, although the Spanish Government has the right and duty to protect Spain 's borders and enforce its immigration laws, it has become increasingly obvious that Spanish law enforcement agents take a perverse pleasure in treating Nigerians and other Africans inhumanely. There appears to be a practice of consistent negative, racist, and discriminatory treatment of Nigerians and other Africans by Spanish law enforcement agents. Mr. Aikpitanhi's murder is only the latest example of this practice.

We hereby PROTEST in strong terms this brutal death in custody of Mr. Aikpintanhi, and make the following demands:

THAT: the Spanish Government immediately take measures to put an end to the practice of inhuman treatment meted out to citizens of Nigeria and others from third world countries.
THAT: the deaths, the beatings, the torture, and all other forms of inhumane treatment be immediately put to a stop.
THAT: an independent investigation be immediately opened into the circumstances leading to Mr. Aikpitanhi's murder.
THAT: an immediate apology from the country of Spain , be made to the family of Mr. Aikpitanhi
THAT: an inquiry into the criminal negligence that led to this brutal death be conducted and ensure the prosecution of all the culprits responsible for this reprehensible act.
THAT: appropriate compensation be paid by the Spanish Government to the next of kin and survivors of Mr. Aikpitanhi.
THAT: an apology be tendered by the Spanish authorities to the next of kin, parents and or other survivors of Mr. Aikpitanhi and to Nigeria .

:: Sign the Letter of Protest @ The Nigeria Village Square (with list of signatures)