- Army maintains silence
To await the verdict of Commission of inquiry
Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the alleged massacre of nearly 1,000 civilians in the clash between the Nigerian Army and the Shiites Islamic sect last December in Zaria, Kaduna State.
In a statement released on its website (at http://ihrc.org.uk) on Monday, IHRC said it has submitted a document signed by its chair Massoud Shadjareh, urging the international tribunal which has a mandate to prosecute people for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, to open a preliminary enquiry into the events in Zaria last year.
In the conflict, soldiers attacked the Islamic Movement of Nigeria’s (IMN) supporters, symbols and property.
Shadjareh said: “The scale and brutality of this massacre and unwillingess of the Nigerian government to implement due process makes it essential for the international court to investigate. The faiure of the international community to act against atrocities on this scale stands to have grave consequences.”
The group claimed that the assault over two days in the northern Nigerian city left a trail of bloodshed and destruction including the shooting of the movement’s leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat. Both are currently believed to be in military custody, detained without charge.
In the document submitted to the ICC on Monday IHRC writes: “The crimes committed between the 12th and 14th December 2015 in Zaria, Kaduna State, by the Nigerian army amount to crimes against humanity. The crimes committed by the Nigerian army meet all the necessary legal requirements to warrant a preliminary investigation by the ICC prosecutor.”
The IHRC claimed that the information obtained by it indicates that 217 people were confirmed killed in the attacks, another 219 are in detention, and 482 are still missing.