AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL NIGERIA
Nigerian authorities have failed families of 640 recaptured detainees of Giwa Barracks slaughtered by soldiers of the Nigerian army exactly six years ago, said Amnesty International Nigeria today.
On 14 March 2014 Boko Haram attacked the Giwa military barracks in Maiduguri. They reportedly fought their way into the detention facilities and freed several hundred detainees.
Amnesty International received credible evidence that as the military regained control, more than 600 people, mostly unarmed recaptured detainees, were extra-judicially executed in various locations across Maiduguri.
“We have repeatedly called on Nigerian authorities to initiate independent and effective investigations to ensure that those behind the massacre that happened six years ago face justice,” said Osai Ojigho Director Amnesty International Nigeria.
“Despite repeated promises by the present government and establishing various committees to investigate the 14 March 2014 killings, not a single person has been held responsible or brought to justice for the mass killings that is among the most horrific incidents perpetrated by the military in the ongoing conflict in the north east.”
The fact that not a single person has been brought to justice for the Giwa Barracks massacre shows lack of genuine commitment to protecting human rights and a deliberate attempt to shield human rights violators from facing justice.
Families of victims have been keenly waiting for justice in the last six years, and their wait is only getting longer and strengthening an already pervasive culture of impunity within the Nigerian military“Nigeria authorities must show genuine commitment to the rule of law by ensuring accountability and justice for all victims. Above all, perpetrators of the Giwa Barracks massacre must not escape justice,” said Osai Ojigho.
Amnesty International published evidence of the killing of recaptured detainees after the Giwa barracks attack in a report on 31 March 2014. The report was based on dozens of interviews with residents, lawyers, human rights defenders and hospital staff in various locations in and around Maiduguri. The report also included satellite imagery analysis that confirmed the existence of several mass graves that appeared in the area shortly after the executions.
On 5 August 2014, Amnesty International published analysis of a video evidence of soldiers men who appear to be members of the Nigerian Military and the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), cutting the throats of recaptured detainees on 5 August 2014 outside Maiduguri after the Giwa barracks attack.
Amnesty has consistently documented and condemned human rights abuses and violations by armed group Boko Haram and the Nigerian military. In April 2015, Amnesty International published a report on Boko Haram that reveals the massive havoc and suffering on the lives of millions of people in north-east Nigeria by the armed group since 2009.
Our research shows that Boko Haram has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity with impunity. The armed group has killed thousands of people, forced more than a million to flee their homes, abducted more than 2000 and crippled normal life in many villages in northeast Nigeria.
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media