Investigate The Killings Of Unarmed Ipob Members By Soldiers-: Huriwa Urges Nigeria On World's Human Rights Day:
As its central message on this year's World Human Rights Day, a frontline civil Rights and Non-Governmental organisation- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the Federal government of Nigeria and the National Assembly to transparently carry out an investigation into allegations of high handedness and extralegal killings of unarmed members of the pro-self determination group-Indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) shortly before it was hurriedly proscribed during the controversial operation python dance two by soldiers drafted to the South East of Nigeria.
In a statement against the backdrop of the commemoration of the year 2017 World Human Rights Day and the Tenth anniversary of the founding of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), the Rights group condemned the widespread conspiratorial silence by the officials of the current administration to the massive and large scale atrocities and massive human rights violations committed by the operatives and officers of the Nigeria Army during the month-long operation python dance two in the South East of Nigeria during which scores of civilians were killed through coordinated extralegal executions carried out by the armed security forces and the public torture of dozens of civilians suspected to be members of the now proscribed Indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
In a statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA condemned the Federal government of Nigeria and the leadership of the Nigerian National Assembly for apparently failing to carry out proper; thorough and forensic human rights investigation with the objectives of naming, shaming, prosecuting and legally sanctioning the culprits who inflicted pains and carried out illegal executions of civilians who were completely unarmed and whose only crime was that they belonged to the Indigenous peoples of Biafra IPOB which as at the time of these widespread atrocities wasn't proscribed.
HURIWA affirmed that the nation can't make any claim of subscribing to the tenets and provisions of the Universal Declarations of HUMAN RIGHTS when the supposed law enforcement agencies like the security forces including the Police are neck deep in carrying out large scale atrocities of gross human rights abuses including committing crimes against humanity such as massive extralegal executions of unarmed protesters and civilians whose only crime was that they were canvassing for self determination through constitutional means.
The Rights group tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to provide clear and unambiguous information on the physical whereabouts of the Director of Indigenous peoples of Biafra IPOB Mr Nnamdi Kanu whose home was attacked and ransacked by armed security forces during the controversial military deployment that undertook the operation python dance two in the South East of Nigeria. HURIWA said the conspiratorial silence of government over these allegations of gross violations of human rights in the South East of Nigeria amounted to the institutionalisation of impunity.
HURIWA carpeted the United Nations Human Rights Council; the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for failing to speak out against the widespread abuses of the human rights of South Eastern Nigerians. HURIWA condemns the total disobedience of binding Court orders which ordered the release of erstwhile National Security Adviser Colonel Sambo Dasuki and the leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria Sheikh Ibrahim ElZaczacky who have spent two years in illegal detention.
"Mr President must tell Nigerians where the leader of IPOB is since his home was bombarded by the armed security forces on his instructions. The Nigerian State must provide accountability for the activities of the armed security forces in the South East of Nigeria during the controversial military deployment."
Conversely, the Rights group said the Federal government must also carry out comprehensive reforms of the Nigeria Police force which the group argued has become a criminal syndicate used by the hierarchy to perpetrate all sorts of organised and sophisticated crimes including armed robberies, grandscale extortion racketeering, commercialisation of weapons to hoodlums,bribery and massive corruption.
HURIWA stated that: "The nation-wide advocacy for the abolition of SARS by the police is in order. SARS is the police unit that has over the years committed gross human rights violations including the extralegal killings of hundreds of detainees in the various police detention facilities in the Country. This same so called special anti-robbery squad of the Nigeria police was responsible for the killing of over three dozen youths whose fresh corpes were discovered in Awka Anambra state in a River. SARS have carried out atrocities in Lagos and Rivers States including organised crime and the harassment of youngsters."
"We use this auspicious occasion of the World's Human Rights Day to call on the Federal government to dismantle the notorious police roadblocks in the South East of Nigeria which are used to extort money from commercial drivers and in a lot of cases these triggar happy rogue police operatives have been found committing extralegal executions of commercial drivers and innocent road users. We condemn this military and police occupation of the South East of Nigeria and to stop forthwith the Widespread human rights violations".
HURIWA stated thus: " As a civil society group we subscribe to the opinions of experts that the responsibility of national governments to uphold and implement international human rights standards is not in doubt. International human rights law is a subset of public international law, and as such, it engages the commitment of nation states. The applicability of international human rights treaties to ratifying states is not controversial and there is no ambiguity about the general principle that governments are accountable for human rights standards".
HURIWA reminds the Nigerian state of what human rights scholars have determined to be the obligations of government to enforce human rights provisions thus:"This question has been considered in different contexts, including the International Law Commission’s (ILC) work on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts and in conjunction with implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights."
"We are aware that over the past two decades a consensus has emerged that with respect to international human rights states have a threefold responsibility: to respect, to protect, and to fulfill their obligations. As expounded by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,The obligation to respect means that States must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights.The obligation to protect requires States to protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses.The obligation to fulfill means that States must take positive action to facilitate the enjoyment of basic human rights."