Nigeria’s military committed war crimes, crimes against humanity – Amnesty International report

admin   •   May 24, 2018   •   2693

A woman who told Amnesty International that she was abused by the Nigerian army during its fight against Islamist insurgency Boko Haram is pictured in Maiduguri, Nigieria in this Februray 18, 2017 picture supplied by Amnesty International. Amnesty International/Handout via REUTERS

 

Nigeria’s military has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity including torture, rape and killing civilians during its fight against Islamist insurgency Boko Haram, human rights group Amnesty International said on Thursday (May 24).

The crimes were perpetrated for years and have continued despite a presidential inquiry established last August whose findings have not been made public, said the watchdog.

In a statement, the Nigerian military described Amnesty’s findings as “a false report on fictitious rape incidents in IDP (internally displaced person) camps in the North East region of Nigeria.”

A presidency statement said Amnesty’s report lacks credibility.

The 89-page report is based on hundreds of interviews and is replete with accounts of sexual violence, torched villages and other abuses.

Nigeria has waged a nine-year war against Boko Haram and its now more powerful offshoot, Islamic State West Africa. The country has fought alongside Cameroon, Chad and Niger and been supported by the United States, Great Britain and France.

The conflict has killed more than 30,000 people and spawned one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. — Reuters

UN offers assistance to ensure anti-terrorism law complies with human rights laws — DOJ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 8, 2020

The United Nations has offered to provide technical assistance to ensure the country’s anti-terrorism law complies with human rights laws, according to Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Guevarra expressed his gratitude towards the UN at the Philippine Human Rights Summit on Monday (December 7).

“We take this opportunity to thank the United Nations — through the UN Resident Coordinator — for their offer of technical assistance in the undertaking to ensure that the anti-terrorism rules conform to the fundamental tenets of human rights laws,” he said.

However, the DOJ official clarified this does not mean that the anti-terrorism law needs any amendment, saying the UN only wants the country to see best practices of human rights from countries around the world.

He also said that the DOJ’s Human Rights Summit will discuss the human rights guarantees under the anti-terrorism law through its implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

“These safeguards, among other measures, have been included in the implementing rules to ensure that the anti-terrorism law serves its purpose without invading the cherished rights and prerogatives of a people under a functioning democracy,” according to Guevarra.

The summit will be attended by various government agencies, Human Rights Affairs Office, the Philippine National Police, and the UN. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Duterte hits gov’t critics, vows to uphold human rights at UN

Robie de Guzman   •   September 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte blasted the critics of his administration’s campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and terrorism, whom he said are using the human rights issue to discredit functioning institutions and mechanisms of a democratic country and a popularly elected government.”

In a pre-recorded message aired at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Duterte highlighted the Philippines Anti-Terrorism Law which was passed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The measure drew criticisms, with several groups claiming this could be used to silence and prosecute political opponents.

“A number of interest groups have weaponized human rights; some well-meaning, others ill-intentioned,” Duterte said in his message.

This is the first time that Duterte participated in the gathering since he became president four years ago.

“They attempt to discredit the functioning institutions and mechanisms of a democratic country and a popularly elected which in its last two years, still enjoy the same widespread approval and support,” he said.

“These detractors pass themselves off as human rights advocates while preying on the most vulnerable humans; even using children as soldiers or human shields in encounters. Even schools are not spared from their malevolence and anti-government propaganda. They hide their misdeeds under the blanket of human rights but the blood oozes through,” he added.

Duterte said his administration remains committed to protecting human rights and continue to take part in “ open dialogue and constructive engagement” with the United Nations.

“But these must be done in full respect of the principles of objectivity, non-interference, non-selectivity, and genuine dialogue. These are the fundamental bases for productive international cooperation on human rights,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

NCRPO chief prepared to let VP Leni join drug busts

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 8, 2019

An agent of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-National Capital Region (PDEA-NCR) searches the pockets of suspected illegal drugs pusher ‘Bong’ during a raid on a house in Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela City, northeast of Manila, Philippines 02 February 2018. Agents of the PDEA conducted the raid in search of an alleged pusher named ‘Bong’. The operation resulted in the arrest of the suspect and discovery of hidden packs of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, after a search in two houses in the area. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Chief PBGen. Debold Sinas said he is prepared to let Vice President Leni Robredo join drug busts.

“Bakit hindi? Kapag available siya (Why not, if she is available) we will. But of course, she’s the vice president. Importante ang security niya (her security is important),” he said.

Sinas also said they are willing to abide by the instructions of Robredo as the co-chairman of the Inter-agency Committee on Illegal Drugs (ICAD).

During the ICAD meeting on Friday (November 8) Robredo said drug operations should be done in a manner that doesn’t result in senseless killings.

“Iyong sa akin kapag nagkakaroon kasi ng mga senseless killings nadi-diminish iyong mga pagod na binubuhos natin dito (For me when there are senseless killings, it diminishes the work we put in this campaign),” she said.

Sinas also does not want killings however, they cannot guarantee there will be zero casualties in the campaign against illegal drugs.

“Ayaw din namin ng patayan. Kapag kami rin ay tinutukan, una (We also do not want killings. But if a gun is pointed at us, first) we have to defend ourselves also,” Sinas said.

Sinas assures all operations against illegal drugs will still be respectful of human rights and will not violate any laws.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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