Amnesty International has challenged the Federal Government to bring to trial the perpetrators of the Shi’ite killings in which up to 347 persons were said to have been murdered by the army.
The AI in a statement by its Nigerian Country Director, M.K. Ibrahim, said the horrific revelations that hundreds of Shi’ites were gunned down and dumped in mass graves is an important first step to bringing all those suspected of criminal responsibility for the atrocity to trial.
It said, “Revelations of the slaughter and secret burial of 347 members of a Shi’ite religious group in mass graves by the Nigerian army must be urgently investigated and anyone suspected of criminal responsibility for these crimes must be brought to trial.
“The horrific revelation that hundreds of Shi’ites were gunned down and dumped in mass graves is an important first step to bringing all those suspected of criminal responsibility for this atrocity to trial.”
Ibrahim stated that the acknowledgment of the extrajudicial killings by a Kaduna government official at a Public Hearing of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, echoed Amnesty International’s own findings.
The Country Director said the AI started investigating the killings in January 16, 2016, adding that it would soon release a comprehensive report on it.
He stated that it was imperative that the mass grave sites are protected in order for a full independent forensic investigation to be carried out.
“The bodies must be exhumed and Nigerian authorities should immediately reveal the whereabouts of those held in unacknowledged detention and either charge or release them,” Ibrahim added.