Defending the rule of law at home and crime abroad, By Owei Lakemfa

IPOB Chief Nnamdi Kanu arrives at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

His mission was to receive an IPOB leader. In the underground car park he was abducted and then terrorized for eight days before being returned to Abuja on Sunday June 27. He was traveling with his British passport. So this was a visiting foreign national abducted by a third country… This was clearly a government that had sworn to respect the rule of law, constitutionality and fundamental human rights, taken abroad violently violating all of this.

Only a quarter of the eight million Palestinians live in Palestine; one million in Gaza, 750,000 in the occupied West Bank and 250,000 inside Israel. The rest, more than six million, are forced to live outside, with at least three million of them classified as stateless without legal rights. Yet these Diaspora Palestinians are hunted like rabbits by the Israeli state.

On September 28, two Palestinians were confronted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, by four men working for the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. They kidnapped one of them, a programmer from Gaza, while the second Palestinian escaped. The victim was then taken to a cabin where she was tortured and interrogated directly by two Mossad agents via video call.

The new times of the straitMalaysia’s oldest newspaper published since 1845, reported that for 24 hours the Palestinian was interrogated and beaten by his Malaysian captors whenever the answer he gave was not satisfactory to Israeli agents.

He reported that the Israelis wanted to know the extent of the victim’s knowledge of computer application development, what he knew about the Palestinian group, Hamas’ expertise in software development, and information about his arm. military, the Al-Qassam Brigade.

Fortunately for the victim, his colleague who escaped, alerted the Malaysian police, who were able to find the victim and free him. He had been injured in the body, head and legs. The two Palestinians have left the country, eleven Malaysians have been charged with the kidnapping, while Israelis remain free at home to hunt down other Palestinians abroad for kidnapping or even murder. Israel at home claims to be a democracy based on the rule of law, but thinks it is allowed abroad to commit acts of robbery and murder helpless people who have no chance of defending themselves .

Nnamdi Kanu is the leader of the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). He was out on bail in September 2017 when the army invaded his home in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia State. He escaped the bloody invasion and fled the country. On June 19, 2021 in Nairobi, Kenya, he drove to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, named after the then Kenyan President’s father, Uhuru Kenyatta.

His mission was to receive an IPOB leader. In the underground car park he was abducted and then terrorized for eight days before being returned to Abuja on Sunday June 27. He was traveling with his British passport. So it was a visiting foreign national abducted by a third country. His lawyer in Nigeria, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, claimed Kanu was “ruthlessly beaten and tortured” at a private residence before his extradition.

In the crime called extraordinary rendition, kidnappers sometimes confuse faces and people. This was the case of Khaled El-Masri, a German arrested by Macedonian agents on December 31, 2003 and held in solitary confinement for 23 days, suspected of belonging to Al-Qaeda.

This was clearly a government that had sworn to uphold the rule of law, constitutionality and basic human rights, caught abroad violently violating all of this.

But Nigerian courts would have none of that. The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Thursday, October 13, quashed the terrorism charges against Kanu, acquitted him and acquitted him because it was satisfied that the government had flagrantly violated Nigerian laws, African and international by removing it.

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The appeals court ruled that the prosecution against Kanu constituted “an abuse of criminal prosecution generally”. He said that, “The court will never hesitate to call the executive to order when it leans towards executive recklessness.”

In the crime called extraordinary rendition, kidnappers sometimes confuse faces and people. This was the case of Khaled El-Masri, a German arrested by Macedonian agents on December 31, 2003 and held in solitary confinement for 23 days, suspected of belonging to Al-Qaeda.

The Macedonians transferred him to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which airlifted him to Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was detained and interrogated. No one was prepared to listen to his explanations or cross-check his assertions. When, after four months, the Americans discovered their mistake, rather than apologize and send him home, they took him back to Europe and dumped him on the side of a road in Albania.

There was also the case of Canadian of Syrian origin, Maher Arar, who was detained at JFK airport in New York on his return from vacation. He was first taken to a detention center in Brooklyn, then flown to Jordan, before finally being thrown into a prison in Syria.

Over the past two decades, Americans have illegally abducted more than 150 people around the world and dumped them in its detention centers in places like Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Diego Garcia, Guantánamo and the United States. Afghanistan – before the Americans were forced to evacuate that country.

When the Americans attempted a similar action against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in December 2018 by forcing Canada to detain her, before regrouping her in America, the Chinese retaliated by seizing two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. and accused them of espionage. Wanzhou had been accused of doing business with Iran in violation of unilateral US sanctions. A deal had to be made to trade him for the Canadians.

A former CIA agent, Robert Baer, ​​said of the shadowy US program: “If you want serious questioning, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear – never to see them again – you send them to Egypt.

Ambassador Alex Saab, a Colombian-born Venezuelan diplomat was traveling to Iran to buy food and medicine for his country. On June 12, 2020, his plane refueled in Cape Verde, where he was abducted and detained. The Regional Court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) ruled his detention illegal and ordered Cape Verde to pay him $200,000 in compensation. But rather than release him, he was handed over to the Americans, who took him to their country where he is in prison. The Americans accuse him of money laundering for violating unilateral US sanctions against Venezuela and Iran.

When the Americans attempted a similar action against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in December 2018 by forcing Canada to detain her, before regrouping her in America, the Chinese retaliated by seizing two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. and accused them of espionage. Wanzhou had been accused of doing business with Iran in violation of unilateral US sanctions. A deal had to be made to trade him for the Canadians.

France is another player in the game. In 1994, Venezuelan internationalist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, better known as Carlos the Jackal, was visiting Sudan when French agents kidnapped him. Carlos, who had campaigned for Palestinian freedom, has since remained in prison after being sentenced to three life terms.

France has a long history of such kidnappings. In October 1956, he hijacked a plane carrying Moroccan-born Algerian freedom fighter Ahmed Ben Bella. He was released on July 5, 1962 and became president of a free Algeria.

Abdullah Ocalan, 73, is imprisoned in a Turkish prison for defending the rights of Kurdish minorities in Turkey. He was abducted in Nairobi, Kenya by a Turkish secret agent in February 1999.

Countries cannot claim to uphold the rule of law at home while committing crimes abroad.

Owei Lakemfaformer General Secretary of African Workers, is a human rights activist, journalist and author.


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