Osmond Ugwu and Raphael Elobuike are Nigerian labour activists and human rights defenders currently spending their second month in Enugu Federal Prison in South East Nigeria. They are being detained on charges of attempted murder of a policeman following their arrest at a workers rally on 24th October 2011 at Enugu.
Osmond and Raphael, who Amnesty International regards as Prisoners of Conscience, have both been beaten and tortured during their arrest and while in police custody. Osmond has suffered considerable physical and psychological harassment and intimidation in the course of his human rights and labour activism. These include punitive transfer and eventual termination of his employment by the government; constant threat to his life, detention and imprisonment.
As the Chairman of the Enugu state chapter of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Osmond has consistently remained non violence in his human rights activism. As the leader of the Enugu State Workers Forum (EWF), Osmand mobilised workers for strikes, peaceful marches, demonstration and work boycott as a means of achieving their aims.
As fellow fighters for human rights in Nigeria, we are calling on the governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime, to immediately release Osmond Ugwu and Raphael Elobuike and drop all charges against them. Fearing the physical safety of Osmund, who is at risk of possible assasination attempts, we also seek government protection of him.
Read Amnesty International's public statement