Thursday, April 30, 2009

Blame it on the Genes!?

In Nigeria, it is legal for authorities to lock up people just because they are mentally ill even if they have no committed any crime or had committed such a trivial crime that they should not receive a prison sentence for it. However, in Nigeria they are being held in prisons in unsanitary and unacceptable condition only because they are mentally ill. This is no fault of theirs but one can blame it on their genes. They need to be put in mental hospitals and not in jails. That will not help the mental condition of any of the people if they are put in such conditions where there is no chance of them recovering or getting better. Treating them as prisoners and as people who have committed crimes is a human rights abuse. We often overlook human rights abuses like this and we don't think much of them. Can you imagine what a big issue it would have become if in America they imprisoned mentally ill people just because they were mentally ill and not because they had committed any crime or done anything wrong. That would just not be acceptable to anyone and human rights activists would be on the roads protesting. Why then in a third world country like Nigeria does this go unnoticed and unaddressed. How long will this go on for? When will such abuse stop? When will the third world countries citizen's be given the same type of rights that other citizens in the world have? I think it is very important to have each country accountable to a higher human rights authority that can deal with these issues of human rights abuses by authorities in all countries. At least that would make them accountable to someone.

2 comments:

beaner008 said...

While this case of incarceration is inescapably unacceptable, people around the world in third and second world countries are incarcerated under circumstances beyond their control. This occurs in the first world and the second world. Recognizably, there is a great deal of different factors of every circumstance, but what does it help? Are our governments protecting us? Are they protecting society? Is all fair? We know from our visit at York County that costs are high to keep people locked up. While Nigeria’s treatment of prisoners with mental disease is intolerable and unacceptable, should we not further evaluate the prison system as a whole? Some argue that programs that focus more on reconciliation and solving the problem that caused the crime to occur rather than putting the “criminal” behind concrete walls is the best alternative. People commit unfathomable acts. Does locking them up fix it or avenge it?

John Rambo said...

Nigeria has a number of serious issues affecting not only it's prison systems and their population, but the general population of t he country as a whole. Civil war and violence over oil, as well as the horrible distribution of oil wealth have made Nigeria a hot bed of instability, so it is only rational that their prison system, just as the country is, would be horribly corrupt and unfair. This case does not only go to show the horrors that these mentally-ill individuals face in Nigeria, and how terrible their prison system is, but also the deploarable state of their health care system, or lack thereof where the mentally ill do not only have a lack of access to reasonable treatment, but they have no access to treatment at all. This is simply astonishing and deploarble.