HURIWA’s Chief Sounds Alarm Over Threats to His Life, Others

HURIWA's Chief Sounds Alarm Over Threats to His Life, Others
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In a dramatic turn of events, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has made an emotional appeal to the international community for immediate intervention following grave threats issued by the Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) against its officers, including the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko. This alarming situation has raised significant concerns regarding the safety and security of human rights defenders in Nigeria.

HURIWA, in a Press Conference today revealed that the DHQ’s threat of legal action against the organization came in response to its principled stance on the failures of military intelligence and the distressing violence targeting predominantly Christian communities in Plateau State. HURIWA, renowned for its steadfast advocacy for human rights, transparency, and accountability, has been at the forefront of addressing these critical issues.

HURIWA's Chief Sounds Alarm Over Threats to His Life, Others
    General Christopher Musa NA; Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff

    “The DHQ’s intimidation tactics, coupled with subtle physical intimidation and suspicious surveillance of HURIWA’s staff in Abuja, have instigated fear and apprehension among the organization’s members. This dire situation underscores the urgent need for international intervention to avert potential threats to the lives and freedoms of human rights defenders in Nigeria”.

    HURIWA’s petition to the international community highlighted the blatant disregard for constitutional provisions safeguarding freedom of expression by Nigerian authorities, citing that despite constitutional guarantees of fundamental freedoms, the actions of the DHQ pose a severe threat to constitutional democracy and human rights in Nigeria.

    HURIWA's Chief Sounds Alarm Over Threats to His Life, Others
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      “Particularly worrisome is the substantial arsenal at the disposal of the Nigerian Armed Forces, including sophisticated military jets recently provided by the United States. This arsenal raises concerns of potential violence and further intimidation against human rights defenders, exacerbating an already precarious situation.

      “The merit of HURIWA’s appeal is evident, with numerous documented instances of human rights abuses perpetrated by the Nigerian military against civilians. These abuses underscore the urgency of the organization’s plea for international intervention to safeguard the lives and freedoms of human rights defenders in Nigeria.

      “Despite HURIWA’s longstanding advocacy for justice, accountability, and the protection of human rights over its 17-year history, these escalating threats from the Nigerian military have left the organization and its members in a vulnerable position, necessitating their turn to the international community for support”.

      HURIWA's Chief Sounds Alarm Over Threats to His Life, Others
        Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Embassy of the United States of America in Nigeria, David Greene

        In response to these urgent developments, HURIWA has formally petitioned the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Embassy of the United States of America in Nigeria, David Greene, to explore possible diplomatic avenues for intervention and support. Additionally, similar appeals have been extended to other diplomatic missions, including the embassies of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, France, and Italy.

        Read Also: HURIWA Demands Decisive Action from CDS on Plateau Carnage

        While the international community’s response to HURIWA’s appeal remains uncertain, HURIWA noted that the safety and security of human rights defenders in Nigeria are in jeopardy, demanding urgent action to address the escalating threats from the Nigerian military.

         

        Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko

        National Coordinator,

        Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA)

        February 7, 2024

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