In an annual report published by Amnesty International (AI) on the state of human rights in 160 countries, it again indicted Nigeria of media crackdown, repression, torture, unlawful incarceration and unprovoked killings of members of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB.
The report was a cumulative report of several reports by AI in the year 2016, that indicted the Nigerian government and her army. It covered the Aba massacre, Nkpor genocide, Asaba killings, Enugu crackdown and other police/army killings across Baylesa, Rivers, Imo and Cross River States; which were published December 2015, 10 June 2016, 26 August 2016, 18 September 2016, 21 September 2016, 28 September 2016 and November 2016.
These detailed reports which AI painstakingly authenticated with numerous video clips, photographs, eye witness reports, mortuary visits and media reports, have constantly been denied by the Nigerian government and her army without a counterproof.
Condemning Nigeria’s shameful denial over the numerous human rights abuses, AI highlighted 5 common tactics Nigeria deploys in denying these reports and they are:
(1) Nigeria questions our impartiality without concrete evidence, or even coherent explanation.
(2) Denial: Deny-no need to say why. Nigeria opts for flat-out denial.
(3) Whataboutery: When our investigation rattles Nigeria, it uses the oldest trick in the book: deflect attention elsewhere.
(4) Just Attack Amnesty: This trick is always in the armament of Nigeria military whenever they are responding to our investigations.
(5) If all these tricks fail, Nigeria resorts to outright censorship.
“Instead of recognizing the crucial role the indigenous people play in society, the government has deliberately set out to strangle criticism in the country. Nigeria has broken her own laws in the crackdown against the people,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
“This misguided reaction of Nigeria to national security threats has been the crushing of civil society, the right to privacy and right to free speech; and outright attempts to make human rights dirty words, packaging them in opposition to national security, law and order and ‘national values’, said Salil Shetty.
AI concluded by tweeting: “Usually, human right violators react to our reports with denials, conjecture and conspiracy theories. Our work speaks for us.”
Just like Amnesty has released her evidence-based reports, we also advised the army to provide an evidence-based rebuttal as failure to do this will prove their guilt that must not be swept away without outright sanctions.
By Somuadila Ugwummadu
Published By Nwosu C.S
For Biafra Writers.