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#ArewaMeToo activist Maryam Awaisu face Police re-arrest

Maryam Awaisu has been asked to report to a serious crimes unit of Police again. Her ordeal is just starting.

Maryam Awaisu was released. Though she is free now, her arrest and detention was aimed at intimidating women rights activists pursuing justice for victims of sexual violence.

Police @PoliceNG must desist from intimidating her. #FreeMaryamAwaisu #ArewaMeeToo

One of the leading campaigners of #ArewaMeToo, an online campaign against sexual violence, Maryam Awaisu was arrested in her office in Kaduna by men of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Recall that Amnesty International, on Tuesday, demanded the ‘immediate and unconditional’ release from police custody, activist and writer, Maryam Awaisu.

In a statement shared on its website, Amnesty International revealed that Awaisu was arrested in her office in Kaduna by “a convoy of officers from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad,” who took her to their Abuja office.

Awaisu had been championing the trending hashtag, #ArewaMeToo on Twitter, which details the experiences of Twitter users with sexual assaults.

The Director, Amnesty International, Osai Ojigho said, “Authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Maryam Aiwasu who has done nothing more than speaking up for women’s rights. Her arrest appears to be an attempt to intimidate and harass both her and other women supporting #ArewaMeToo – a movement seeking justice for victims of sexual violence in Nigeria.

“While arresting Maryam, the police attempted to gain access to her laptop and mobile phone by force; this is clearly an effort to access the sensitive evidence she and other human rights defenders have been gathering to seek justice for victims of sexual violence.

“Maryam and the other brave human rights defenders working with the #ArewaMeToo movement must not be silenced or punished for the vital work they do. For too long, Nigeria’s women have been facing various kinds of sexual violence that seldom receives proper attention from the country’s law enforcement agencies. It is unacceptable that women working on behalf of these victims are subjected to such arrest and intimidation, and we fear that these actions may prevent victims of sexual violence from pursuing justice.”

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