Amnesty Int'l Slams Nigeria, Says Hundreds Forcibly Disappeared To Instill Fear

Relatives of disappeared persons at the National Press Club on Tuesday

Relatives of disappeared persons at the National Press Club on Tuesday

It was on 21 December 2010, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution and expressed its deep concern about the increase in enforced or involuntary disappearances in various regions of the world, including arrest, detention and abduction, when these are part of or amount to enforced disappearances, and by the growing number of reports concerning harassment, ill-treatment and intimidation of witnesses of disappearances or relatives of persons who have disappeared. "Sometimes I feel I can't bear the pain anymore", he told AI dejectedly.

AI noted that Nigeria is a state party to the International Convention and called on the Federal Government to release details on the fate and whereabouts of all victims of enforced disappearance.

"The authorities must do the right thing now, by releasing all of them or disclosing information about their fate or whereabouts", Mrs. Ojigho said. Amnesty says whereabouts of hundreds of members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria remain unknown since 2015.

The country director also highlighted the allegations of human rights abuse levelled against the military during the clash that reportedly led to the killing of over 300 Shiites in Zaria in December 2015.

Amnesty's Middle East research director, Philip Luther, said: "The plight of those who have vanished after being arrested by the authorities or detained by armed groups is a tragedy that has been largely ignored internationally".

Zainab Isa said her husband, Abdullahi Abbas, and their six children's whereabouts or fate is not known since the night of December 14, 2015 following the clashes in Zaria.

"He sells books at the Husainiyyah where the clashes took place. We don't know whether the seven (7) of them are alive or dead and no one is giving us any information that can ease our pain", AI quoted the traumatized woman.

On the International Day of the Disappeared, Amnesty International said it is calling on the Nigerian authorities to investigate all cases of enforced disappearances and bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility to justice in fair trials before ordinary civilian courts without recourse to death penalty. The reparations, it stated, must include compensation, rehabilitation, restitution, and be satisfactory, as well as offer guarantees of non-repetition.

On the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared, Amnesty International has fingered Nigeria as one of the countries that enforced disappearances are being used to instill fear into civilian population. The families of the victims of enforced disappearance have already waited too long for answers.

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