International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Intersociety, has appealed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Amnesty International to intervene in the alleged incessant killings in the South-East, particularly Imo State.
The group made the appeal in Enugu during a press conference by the Board Chairman of Intersociety, Nigeria, Emeka Umeagbalasi.
He urged UN Commisioner for human rights to launch joint or separate investigations through the UNHCR’s Special Rapporteurs generally charged with responsibilities of holding enquiries into grisly and egregious human rights abuses and violations, such as in the case of Imo State.
He alleged that mass murders, civilian house burnings and other internationally prohibited acts were being perpetrated with impunity and recklessness in Imo State, adding that, “till date, not even a single armed state actor or armed non state actor perpetrator; or a public official or office holder aiding the killings has been brought to accountability, including being investigated, tried, convicted and jailed.”
“Armed Non State Actors abducted 900 civilians in 29 months and killed 300. It is the finding of the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) that not less than 900 defenseless citizens were abducted by five of the eight identified armed non state entities in Imo State in 29 months (Jan 2021-May 2023), out of which 33% or 300 were killed in captivity; representing those that could not return to their families alive after being abducted.
“The 300 victims of the abductors’ captivity killings represent those unable to return to their families alive or presumed to have been killed in captivity owing to their inability to pay ransoms or who died from torture or gunshot injuries or because of their refusal to be raped, if females; or recite Islamic incantations and be converted to Islam, if abducted on religious grounds.
“Greater number of victims of political abductions also died in captivity after being abducted. Some victims of the 900 abductions who managed to return home alive died afterwards as a result of terminal injuries inflicted or complicated health issues arising from their abductions by five out of eight armed non state actor entities in Imo.
“The sum-total of the above has institutionalized impunity and ‘repeat-offenses’ in Imo State and the South-East,” he said
Umeagbalasi said, “Intersociety is also drawing the attention of the International Secretariat of the Amnesty International headed by Dr Agnes Callamard (respected former UN Special Rapporteur on Summary, Arbitrary and Extrajudicial Killings or Executions), as well as the Executive Director of the US respected Human Rights Watch, Mr. Kenneth Roth, etc; calling on them to use their good offices to cause their respected and respective global Rights Organizations to focus their advocacy attentions on Imo and South-East.
“We call upon them to take this research and investigative report of ours to next critical level with other apostles and disciples of justice, including human rights and democracy leaders within and beyond Imo State and the South-East,” he said.