Shiites-Army Clash: Rights Groups Caution AI Against Making Pre-Judicial Statements

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•Says AI may be sympathetic to Islamic fundamentalism
•Accuses El-Rufai of incitement against the Army

Senator Iroegbu in Abuja

Two rights groups in Nigeria have cautioned Amnesty International (AI) in its remarks and statements concerning the December 12, 2015 deadly clash between the Nigerian Army and Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in Zaria, Kaduna State, until the Commission of Inquiry looking into the case concludes their findings.

The two civil society groups – Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) and Association of African Writers on Human and Peoples Right (AFRIRIGHT), at a joint press conference in Abuja on Thursday, faulted the AI’s demand for probe of the number of casualties of the incident.

The also accused the Kaduna State governor Malam Nasir El Rufai of “stoking the embers of hatred and incitement of gullible Nigerians against the Nigerian Army by juggling and bandying unsubstantiated and a politically inflated number of casualties of the Shiites/Army clash without any shred of scientifically provable evidence to back up such sensationally high number”.

The Civil Society groups through its National Coordinator and Country Director, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Ms Zainab Yusuf, urged AI and El-Rufai to allow the wheel of investigative justice activated within the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) probe panel and the Kaduna State judicial panel to run their full courses.

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