Re:Shiite clash:Rights Group Faults Amnesty International’s Report

Re:Shiite Clash: Rights Group Faults Amnesty International’s Report

My attention was drawn to the above news item from Leadership Newspaper of 23rd April, 2016 where a mushroom “human rights group” made attempt to dilute the comprehensive and damming report on the #ZariaMassacre of the London – based International human rights group Amnesty International titled “Unearthing the Truth:Unlawful killings and Mass Cover -Up in Zaria”. Initially I had dismissed it as another fraudulent front of those that massacred close to 1000 defenseless and unarmed Shia Muslims in Zaria last December and dumped their dead bodies in mass Graves. But two other people sent me the same news report, I then decided to address the points raised.

Recently the Justice – seeking anti-oppression website “#NewsRescue” published some fake human rights groups in Nigeria that are use as fronts to push for evil agendas and most of those fake human rights groups were used in the massive smear campaigns of calumny and demonization against Sheikh Ibraheem #Zakzaky, IMN, Shia Islam and Iran. The overwhelming majority of Nigerians will agree with me that this is the first time they are hearing of a “human rights group” called “Centre for Social Justice, Equity andTransparency (CESJET)”. Most of these mushroom “human rights bodies” like this one do not even have offices in any part of Nigeria and do not have a single record of addressing any human rights violations in the past.

The sponsored group CESJET has faulted the report of Amnesty International (#AI) on the army-Shiite clash, describing it as “gross misrepresentation of facts and an attempt to incite sectarian crisis which could snowball into a full blown conflict.” This accusation should rightly be directed towards the Nigerian regime, the Nigerian army and other state governments in Northern Nigeria. All eyewitnesses will testify to the fact that when the Nigerian army were brutally slaughtering unarmed Shia Muslims in Zaria they were chanting anti-Shia genocidal slogans. And immediately after the inhuman massacre the Nigerian regime via the Nigerian army assembled anti-Shia Wahhabi clerics in Kaduna to demonize their victims and present them as “massacreable” to the Nigerian public. It is important to add that some state governments in Northern Nigeria are at various stages of persecution of Shia Muslims of which the most notorious are the Kaduna, Katsina and Kebbi state governments.

The sponsored CESJET went as low as making malicious insinuations against the Country Director of Amnesty International, Mohammed K. Ibrahim that he has links with “fundamentalism”. What CESJET and their sponsors failed to understand is that it was not Mohammed K. Ibrahim that investigated the #ZariaMassacre for Amnesty International, Amnesty International sent a comprehensive team from London who are professionals and specialists in investigating war crimes. I was interviewed by them and I was amazed by their competency and methodological efficiency.

The sponsored CESJET went further to make fraudulent accusations against Amnesty International by claiming that “Amnesty International has always taken harsh stands against the Nigerian state, while appearing to support fundamentalist group like Boko Haram and now the Shiite group.” All Nigerians are aware that the Nigerian army committed heinous war crimes in its war against the #BokoHaram insurgency where thousands of innocent Nigerians were wrongly accused and tortured to death while at the same time the real BokoHaram continued with their killing spree unchallenged. There is nothing wrong for Amnesty International to insist that the Nigerian army should respect the human rights of Nigerians in its operations and activities.

The sponsored CESJET ended its press conference by claiming that “the Amnesty International’s report titled, ‘Unearthing the Truth: Unlawful Killings and Mass Cover-Up in Zaria’ is another futile attempt to divert attention from the many atrocities of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) which Amnesty International has fruitlessly attempted to defend in the past.” This accusation is more fitting to the accuser and this is yet another futile attempt by the bloodthirsty war criminals that killed close to 1000 civilians that included hundreds of women and children and dumped their dead bodies in mass graves to divert attention from their heinous crimes and atrocities.

Harun Elbinawi


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