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Knifar Women:  AI demands justice for victims of Boko Haram, military ‘assaults’

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Launches online campaign, secures 2000 volunteers 

 

Senator Iroegbu 

The global human rights watchdog, Amnesty International (AI) has demanded justice thousands of women in North East Nigeria, who were rescued from Boko Haram terrorists but allegedly molested by the Nigerian military.

These women have since bandied themselves into a group under the umbrella of ‘Knifar Movement’ group of survivors of Boko Haram crisis.

To this end, the rights group has launched an online ” Support the Knifar Movement and demand justice and freedom from abuse”, adding that about 2,000 women have collected lists of names of people from their villages who have experienced abuse by the military.

The Write for Rights Campaigner, AI, Mr. Leonor Rebassa, in a statement on Friday entitled: ” Rescued, then attacked by the military”,  stressed that Knifar women’s movement are survivors who are campaigning for justice for being abused by those that should have protected them.

AI demanded that those in power must not be allowed to abuse, regretting that those accused of rights abuses in the Nigerian military are getting away with it as government has purportedly done nothing to sanction perpetrators.

Part of the statement reads: ” In North-East Nigeria, many civilians spent years under the brutal rule of the armed group Boko Haram only to face violence and abuse by the Nigerian military.

“After a military operation to re-capture territory from the armed group, many of the survivors of Boko Haram fled or were sent to displaced persons camps. In these camps women have been subjected to sexual violence and rape – often through demands for sex in exchange for food. Thousands have died for lack of food, water or healthcare.”

“Because men of ‘fighting age’ are often suspected of being from Boko Haram, thousands have been taken away by the military. This has caused families to be pulled apart, leaving women isolated and caring for families alone, and exacerbating the risk of abuse, hunger and even starvation.

“The Knifar Movement are a group of survivors that have organised to demand justice and be re-united with their families. Around 2,000 women have collected lists of names of people from their villages who have experienced abuse by the military.

“Those in power cannot be allowed to abuse and attack – but the Nigerian military are getting away with it.”

AI had in its website stated that every December, Amnesty supporters across the globe will write millions of letters and take action for those whose basic human rights are being attacked.

To this backdrop, the human rights observers said that its online campaign demanding justice for the victims of Boko Haram terrorism is in continuing a long tradition of writing letters to right some of the world’s biggest wrongs.

Efforts made to get Nigeria military’s response proved unsuccessful as the messages and call put across to the Director of  Defence Information (DDI), Brig-Gen. John Agim, were not responded.


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