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Rights watchdog asks Nigeria to unblock protesters' accounts

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The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the Nigerian government to unblock the bank accounts of anti-police brutality protesters.

The rights watchdog also wants all fines to individuals and organisations related to the anti-police brutality protests dismissed or refunded if already paid.The HRW said the actions were a threat to human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“Any attempts to suppress legitimate protests and genuine calls for accountability by arbitrarily blocking funds would be a gross abuse of power,” said Anietie Ewang, Nigeria researcher at HRW.

The rights watchdog also condemned the fining of media organisations for coverage of the protests.

“The authorities should immediately remove all punitive financial measures that appear to have been placed on individuals or organisations simply for providing information or supporting people exercising their fundamental rights," read a statement by HRW.

There had been threats of fresh protests against the blocking of the accounts of key protesters.

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