by Deanna Maria R & Emmy Hikins

Reported by the BBC News, a method of torture, that is depicted from an Egyptian statue in a museum, called tabay, is said to be over 2000-years-old and is being used in Nigeria. Before reading the article or viewing the video, BBC issues a warning of the graphic nature depicted in the video of victims, sometimes very young victims, being tortured using the method called tabay. Tabay is a torture technic where the arms at the elbows are bound cutting off circulation and causing extreme pain. Variations of this torture method include binding the hands and feet and then hanging victims from various types of poles and sometimes adding weight such as bricks or wooden blocks.

On paper, Tabay is a criminal offense in Nigeria, having been banned by proclamation of a bill passed in 2017 called the Anti-torture Act. In the beginning of the video, two Nigerian boys are seen, having had tabay performed on them in 2019 by a “government-backed vigilante group in Northern Nigeria”. One of the boys is heard to say he wished he was dead when he was tortured and a video of this young man tied to a pole with all the weight on his shoulders, cries out for his captors to shoot him. The video goes on to show graphic photos of people being tortured using various forms of Tabay.

Allegedly, four branches of military and law enforcement in Nigeria have been found to use this method of torture to get information out of those they detain. SARS or the Special Anti-Robbery Squad allegedly “the most notorious branch of Nigeria’s police”, is said to have allegedly faced numerous allegations of “human rights abuses across Nigeria”. The Ministry of the Interior has a zero-tolerance policy towards torture, these incidents are under investigation and those involved will face “the wrath of the law”. The Nigerian police force didn’t respond.