After several knocks on the Nigerian Army over its tweet using President Donald Trump’s words to justify the fatal shooting of stone-throwing protesters, the force has deleted the post.
The post had been condemned by several Nigerians and civil society organisations.
Amnesty International on Saturday asked the Nigerian Army and Mr Trump to stop justifying rights abuses.
Amnesty Nigeria’s executive director, Osai Ojigho said “Basic human rights are not subject to whims of the world’s leaders. Rather than engaging in a preposterous competition over who does a better job of violating human rights, the Nigerian government must hold its security forces accountable for the horrific killing of at least 45 peaceful protesters.”
Also, the executive director of Amnesty International USA, Margaret Huang said, “Donald Trump’s latest statements continue a pattern threatening, encouraging and justifying human rights abuses. No president should be embracing the horrific use of excessive force. The president’s outrageous threats against people fleeing violence and seeking a better life only compound their already precarious situation and exacerbate what he should be recognising as a human rights crisis.
“Both the US and the Nigerian governments must abide by international human rights law and standards. International law is clear that security forces policing demonstrations must not use unnecessary or excessive force against protesters unless they pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury, and only if there is no lesser way to avert such threat. They must never use firearms as a tactical tool for the management of demonstrations: they may only be used for the purpose of saving another life.”
In a statement responding to Mr Trump’s remarks, Amnesty International’s secretary general, Kumi Naidoo, had earlier said, “We reject these vicious policies. People seeking protection deserve our compassion, not our contempt. Threatening desperate people with excessive force is horrifying and unlawful. The U.S. government must abide by international law and welcome people seeking safety into the country while their asylum claims are being reviewed.”
PREMIUM TIMES observed that after this story was published on Saturday, the Nigerian Army bowed to pressure and pulled down its post. A click on the link of the post will show “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist”
An investigation conducted by Amnesty International this week and another by PREMIUM TIMES revealed that the horrific use of excessive force by soldiers and police led to the killing of at least 45 supporters of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) as the Shi’a Muslim group held a religious procession around Abuja.