By Dr. Peregrino Brimah
In a statement by Samuel Aruwan, the Kaduna Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, embattled governor Nasir el-Rufai attempted to defend the mass burial of 347 mostly Muslim victims of the December 12-14 2015 Zaria massacre who were not all medically confirmed dead
While claiming the victims were all buried in Muslim rights, without knowing which of them were Muslim or other, the governor kibitzed himself with select quotes from the Geneva convention’s conflict stipulations while avoiding the main chapters. Below in parenthesis, we have made brief comments on series of grave violations of the Geneva convention by the Kaduna state administration from the entire Article around one of his one-liners.
Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in the Philippines, Part IV, Article 4
The principles and standards of international humanitarian law shall likewise apply and protect the rights of persons, entities or objects involved or affected in any of the cases or situations cited hereunder.
- Persons hors de combat and those who do not take a direct part in hostilities are entitled to respect for their lives, dignity, human rights, political convictions and their moral and physical integrity and shall be protected in all circumstances and treated humanely without any adverse distinction founded on race, color, faith, sex, birth, social standing or any other similar criteria.
(Those who were hiding in Hussainiyyah, Gyellesu and praying at Darul Rahma)
- The wounded and the sick shall be collected and cared for by the party to the armed conflict which has them in its custody or responsibility.
(The Zaria wounded are dying and losing their limbs rotting in jail)
- Neutral persons or entities and medical personnel, including persons of humanitarian and/or medical organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), shall be protected and respected. The establishments, facilities, transport and equipments of these persons, entities and organizations;
objects bearing the emblem of the red cross and the flag of peaceful intention; and historic monuments, cultural objects and places of worship shall likewise be protected.
(All places of worship were demolished by el-Rufai and his armed uniformed hooligan gang)
- Civilian population and civilians shall be treated as such and shall be distinguished from combatants and, together with their property, shall not be the object of attack. They shall likewise be protected against indiscriminate aerial bombardment, strafing, artillery fire, mortar fire, arson, bulldozing and other similar forms of destroying lives and property, from the use of explosives as well
as the stockpiling near or in their midst, and the use of chemical and biological weapons.
(Bulldozing, bombing, burning and all what not was used on unarmed civilians in more than four distinct sites from the road block protest including grave sites and mother’s houses)
- Civilians shall have the right to demand appropriate disciplinary actions against abuses arising from the failure of the Parties to the armed conflict to observe the principles and standards of international humanitarian law.
(Zakzaky and Zeenat are held incommunicado and 189 others are detained like goats. The rest IMN is denied right to recourse)
- All persons deprived of their liberty for reasons related to the armed conflict shall be treated humanely, provided with adequate food and drinking water, and be afforded safeguards as regards to health and hygiene, and be confined in a secure place. Sufficient information shall be made available concerning persons who have been deprived of their liberty. On humanitarian or other reasonable grounds, such persons deprived of liberty shall be considered for safe release.
(Absolutely no information has been provided to victims. Some have been detained for months cut from the world and only Yesterday, four months later did the government admit the murder of 347 and that they had already been mass buried)
- The ICRC and other humanitarian and/or medical entities shall be granted facilitation and assistance to enable them to care for the sick and the wounded and to undertake their humanitarian missions and activities.
(ICRC and other organisations have been denied access to victims including Sheikh Zakzaky and beautiful Zeenat)
- Personnel and facilities of schools, the medical profession, religious institutions and places of worship, voluntary evacuation centers, programs and projects of relief and development shall not be the target of any attack. The persons of said entities shall be guaranteed their safety.
(Hussainiyah was converted into a temporary medical relief center to cater to the injured who were surrounded and locked in before the massacre by the army. All the injured were killed within the temporary health center)
- Every possible measure shall be taken, without delay, to search for and collect the wounded, sick and missing persons and to protect them from any ham and ill treatment, to ensure their adequate care and to search for the dead, prevent despoliation and mutilation and to dispose of them with respect.
(The Kaduna government does not even have a list of names of the victims it buried enmass. The families were never informed and advised to collect their bodies. The IMN which was available and ready to take charge of burial of theirs was also not informed of the deaths and burials till four months later)