Activist arrested for fighting for justice for sexually abused Arewa women, Amnesty International reveals
A woman has been arrested for championing the Arewa Me Too and fighting for justice for Arewa men and women who have suffered sexual abuse.
#ArewaMeToo trended over the weekend with women and a few men from northern Nigeria opening up about being sexually abused. Sadly, some people tried to silence the victims and told them it was against their culture and religion to speak up about such things. They were even threatened that no one would marry them for revealing such in public.
To compound issues, writer and activist Maryam Awaisu, who stood up and began seeking justice for the victims, has now been arrested by SARS officers for her involvement in the Arewa MeToo movement.
Amnesty International Nigeria made this revelation and called for the unconditional release of the activist who has done nothing except fight for justice.
Amnesty Nigeria tweeted following Maryam’s arrest:
Amnesty International is concerned about arrest of writer and activist Maryam Awaisu @Ice131Queen by a convoy of SARS @PoliceNG in her office in Kaduna. The arrest, without warrant, is related to her involvement in seeking justice for victims of sexual abuse; #ArewaMeToo.
They added in another tweet:
Arrest of Maryam Awaisu @Ice131Queen 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. #FreeMaryamAwaisu @aishambuhari @AminaJMohammed @unwomenafrica @PoliceNG
Another tweet from them reads:
While arresting #FreeMaryamAwaisu, 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.
Social media users have condemned the arrest and persecution of Maryam. They have expressed outrage at the authorities for arresting an activist, rather than arrest the rapists.
See screenshots below.