HURIWA warns army against alleged killing of civilians in Imo
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA has urged the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru to caution his men against indiscriminate use of firearms which has led to the death of some civilians in Imo State.
In a statement issued and made available to Press on Wednesday by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, the Rights group said the killings were crimes against humanity and gross violations of the Constitutional rights of freedoms of the citizens.
HURIWA also condemned the “conversion of the government House gate in Owerri into a killing field by armed soldiers who have in the last 48 hours killed scores of innocent bystanders and a bus driver”.
The Rights group said it will officially write to the Chief of Army Staff to demand redress for “these heinous and intolerable crimes of extra-legal executions of citizens and to serve him a notice that he could be dragged before the International Criminal Court in The Hague Netherlands should he fail to get his operatives and officers to operate by the laws of Nigeria and in line with the rules of engagement in all internal military operations and in compliance with the best global practices”.
The group decried the alleged killing of one Miss Divine Nwaneri, a 24-year-old student of the Imo State University (IMSU) by the Nigerian army stressing that “not even in wartime should soldiers be seen using fellow human beings for games as if they are in a hunting expedition.
The Rights Advocacy group said even in wartime the military ought to respect the Vienna Declaration and avoid all acts of extra-legal executions.
“If the Army respects the human rights of civilians there won’t be a need for the Army Spokesman to start crying wolf that people display indecent photos of soldiers killed in the most gruesome manner in the theatre of war because the bulk of the citizens will be willing to speak and defend the integrity of the Army”, it added.
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