Amnesty Demands End to Rights’ Violation Against Pro-Biafra Activists
By Bertram Nwannekanma
14th April 2017
Amnesty International (AI) has called for an immediate end to human rights’ violation against the pro-Biafra activists in Nigeria. The group made the call in a letter by Evelin de Leliwa from its Germany office to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara. The Guardian obtained a copy of the letter dated March 20, 2017 yesterday.
It also called for an investigation into the alleged killings and disappearances of members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and their supporters in several incidents.
The letter urged the Federal Government to release all IPOB members and their supporters who are currently being detained in the country without trial. He also urged Dogara to announce an end to the deployment of the military in peaceful assemblies in the country.
The group called for the full payment of reparation to all those who have suffered human rights violation as a direct result of the security forces’ operations in the southeast and south south regions of the country.
The AI disclosed that at least, 150 pro-Biafra protesters were killed during the Biafra Remembrance Day in the southeast, during which the security forces, led by the military, embarked on a campaign of extrajudicial executions and violence.
According to the group, the analysis of 87 videos, 122 photographs and 146 eyewitness testimonies relating to the demonstrations and other gatherings between August 2015 and August 2016, showed that the military fired live ammunition with little or no warning to disperse the crowds.
The group further stated that it found evidence of mass extrajudicial executions by the security forces, including at least, 60 people who were shot dead within two days in connection with the remembrance.
It said: “Since August 2015, there had been a series of protests marches and gatherings by members and supporters of IPOB, who are seeking the creation of a Biafran state.
According to the group, the tensions increased when the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu was arrested on October 14, 2015 and had since remained in detention. “The largest number of pro-Biafra activists were killed on May 30, 2016 when an estimated 1,000 IPOD members and supporters had gathered for a rally in Onitsha, Anambra State.
“The security forces raided some homes and a church where the IPOB members were sleeping in the night before the rally on May 2016 and also shot people in several locations.”
The group alleged that the inspector general of police had failed to act, despite sharing its key findings with the minister of justice and attorney general, chief of defence staff, chief of army staff, ministries of interior, foreign affairs and the department of state services.