Soldiers deployment: Report right violations to us, says rightgroup
Ahead of the plans by the military to launch Operation Crocodile Tears in the South West and South South areas, the Nigerian Human Rights Community, (NHRC) has asked residents in affected areas to report any civil liberty infraction to the group.
The NHRC is opposed to deployment of soldiers in peaceful communities and has consistently called on President Mohammadu Buhari to withdraw the soldiers from indigenous communities.
In a statement on Monday, the NHRC asked residents to send reports of human rights abuses by the soldiers for the group for appropriate legal actions. The statement was signed by Mr Olu Suleiman and Micheal Ajayi. The right group said the Nigerian Army has a notorious history of right abuses which include but not limited to rape, assault and torture of innocent people.
The group regretted a situation where Nigerian communities were being put under military siege in a democratic environment which should guarantee freedom of movement and free speech.
The NHRC stated “We condemn in very strong terms the deployment of soldiers to peaceful communities. The Nigerian Army deployed soldiers to the Eastern part of Nigeria and it ended up in gross violations of human rights. Many people were killed and many remain missing till date. This action of the Nigerian government violates basic principles of human rights. Soldiers should never be deployed to assignments that need civil actions of the police.”
The NHRC said though the Army said Operation Python Dance and Crocodile Tears were meant to check crimes, but that in reality the soldiers are being used to kill, suppress and intimidate the civil population adding that the international community will be supplied with the relevant information on cases of right abuses for prosecution either now or in the future. The NHRC warn soldiers being deployed to be aware that they could still be tried for individual abuses even after their retirement from service.
“We urge residents in South South and South West to report human right violations. We have set up a team of lawyers across the country. We have alerted members of the international community on the deployment of soldiers in peaceful communities.” The statement noted. The group asked residents to report such violations to the NHRC hotlines: 09060017462.